The Pennsylvania woman accused of stealing a computer from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been found guilty of two felonies relating to the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol. But the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict on allegations that she stole government property.
After a six-day trial and three days of jury deliberations, Riley June Williams, 23, of Harrisburg, Penn., was convicted Monday of two felonies: interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder and resisting or impeding law enforcement officers. She was also convicted of four misdemeanors relating to trespassing and disorderly conduct.
The jury was unable to reach a verdict on two other charges, according to a Justice Department press release, including obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting in the theft of government property. A federal judge reportedly declared a mistrial on those counts.
According to prosecutors, Williams had joined the mob of Donald Trump supporters angry over Joe Biden‘s win in the 2020 presidential election in breaching the Capitol as Congress was in the process of certifying the Electoral College vote. The forced entry brought the proceedings to a halt and caused lawmakers to either flee the building or shelter in place.
Williams entered the building at around 2:15 p.m. through the Senate Wing Door and stayed inside for about 70 minutes, making her way to the Crypt, Rotunda, and Office of the Speaker of the House, according to the government. Prosecutors say that Williams “directed other rioters, pushed against officers, and took video, audio, and photo recordings of her activities.” The defendant also allegedly threw a water bottle at police officers and called them traitors.
“While inside the Speaker’s Office, according to the government’s evidence, Williams encouraged other rioters to steal an office laptop, and took a video of the theft, telling one of them, ‘Dude, put on gloves!’ and yelling, among other things, ‘Take that f—– laptop,'” the DOJ’s press release said.
As Law&Crime previously reported, Williams was allegedly seen on video stealing the laptop from Pelosi’s office, and investigators believed that she might have tried to sell the device to Russia’s foreign intelligence services. Authorities believed that Riley went on the run after being identified in video from Jan. 6, but her lawyer insisted that she was fleeing an abusive ex-boyfriend.
The obstruction charge — of which Williams has not yet been convicted — is the most serious, carrying a potential 20-year prison sentence. She currently faces a maximum eight years behind bars for the resisting or impeding law enforcement charge, five years for the charge of interfering with law enforcement during a civil disorder, and a combined three years for the misdemeanor charges.
In July, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson had denied Williams’ request to remove the ankle monitor she was required to wear as part of her pretrial release conditions. In August, however, Jackson appears to have softened her stance: she granted Williams’ request for permission to attend a Renaissance Faire.
The judge was decidedly less lenient following Williams’ conviction on Monday. According to an NBC News report, Jackson, a Barack Obama appointee, said she had “no confidence whatsoever” that Williams had respect for the rule of law and ordered that she be detained pending sentencing.
Jackson set Williams’ sentencing for Feb. 22, 2023.
[Booking photo via Dauphin County Prison; image via YouTube screengrab.]
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