Capitol rioter who wanted to be ‘destroyed’ on Jan. 6 pleads guilty

Capitol rioter who wanted to be ‘destroyed’ on Jan. 6 pleads guilty

  • A Virginia man who destroyed media equipment on Jan. 6 pleaded guilty to two felonies on Friday.
  • Prosecutors say Joshua Dillon Haynes sent several texts bragging about his role in the siege.
  • More than 900 people have pleaded guilty in connection with the uprising so far.

A Virginia man who bragged about destroying media equipment outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, pleaded guilty Friday to two felonies related to the riot.

Joshua Dillon Haynes, 40, was initially charged with seven counts in connection with the siege after his arrest in July 2021, including assault and breaking and entering. But as the government works to prosecute the more than 900 people arrested in connection with the attack, federal prosecutors have offered some rioters lesser charges in exchange for their guilty pleas.

On Friday, Haynes pleaded guilty to one felony count of obstructing an official proceeding and one felony count of destruction of property. The two charges carry a possible maximum sentence of 25 years, although Haynes’ plea deal indicates he will likely face 27 to 33 months in prison when he is sentenced in January.

Photos from the scene show Haynes among a group of rioters who destroyed tens of thousands of dollars worth of media equipment, including cameras, tripods and lights, prosecutors said. One member of the media forced to flee by the encroaching mob estimated that the damaged equipment from his news organization alone was worth between $30,000 and $34,000, according to court documents.

In text messages to friends throughout the day, Haynes bragged about breaking “lotsa stuff” and “kicking” fake news ass.

“We attacked CNN reporters and fake news and destroyed tens of $11,000 worth of their video and television equipment,” Haynes sent in a text along with a photo of the pile, according to prosecutors.

In a separate text that day, Haynes said he had already seen himself on video from the scene, but noted he had kept his face covered.

“I want to be prosecuted for destroying the nations capital [sic] and fake news,” he wrote, according to court documents.

Prosecutors said Haynes also helped two other rioters remove an air conditioning unit from a window inside the Capitol and then throw it on the ground.

Haynes admitted to the acts in federal court on Friday, according to WUSA and Law & Crime.

Haynes’ attorney did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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