Athens man convicted on felony charge over Jan. 6 US Capitol riot, prosecutors say

An Athens man has been convicted of a felony for his conduct during the riot at the U.S....
An Athens man has been convicted of a felony for his conduct during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.(Tyler Merbler | MGN)
Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 4:57 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A Georgia man has been convicted of a felony and two other charges for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, prosecutors say.

Following a bench trial, Jake Maxwell, 22, of Athens, was found guilty of civil disorder, a felony, and misdemeanor charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds.

Prosecutors say Maxwell traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally near the Ellipse and afterward made his way to the U.S. Capitol, where he and other rioters broke through police lines.

“During the breach of the police lines, Maxwell obstructed, impeded, and interfered with police officers,” The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said in a statement. “Maxwell banged on and pushed the riot shield of a United States Capitol Police officer and grabbed a Metropolitan Police Department officer’s baton.”

Prosecutors said Maxwell then made his way to the scaffolding erected for the upcoming inauguration.

“Here, Maxwell was among the first rioters to breach the Inaugural Stage and cheered to the crowd of rioters from atop the balcony,” the U.S. attorney’s office said. “Maxwell then made his way to just outside the Lower West Terrace Tunnel, the site of some of the more violent attacks against police on January 6th.”

Maxwell then walked to the Capitol’s Upper West Terrace, where he “proceeded to cheer, raise flags, laugh, and talk with other rioters for well over an hour. From his vantage point, he would have been able to look down at the violence occurring at the Tunnel below,” prosecutors said.

Maxwell returned to the tunnel, standing outside the entrance and watching “as rioters made increasingly violent efforts to break through the line of officers protecting the area,” according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

The U.S. attorney’s office said FBI agents arrested Maxwell in Georgia on Feb. 9, 2022.

Maxwell will be sentenced on Feb. 22.

Prosecutors said more than 1,200 people have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the Jan. 6 riot, including more than 400 people facing felony charges of assaulting or impeding law enforcement.