Lawyer for Sharon man charged in capitol riot case files intent to plead guilty

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Matthew Perna is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBN) — The lawyer for a Sharon, Pa., man accused of being inside the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6 to protest the 2020 Presidential election has told a federal judge his client intends to plead guilty.

J. Gerald Ingram, attorney for Matthew Perna, informed U.S. Judge John D. Bates in the U.S. District Of Columbia that Perna expects to plead guilty to charges of obstruction of an official proceeding; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; and disorderly conduct in a capitol building.

The pleas are expected at a Dec. 17 hearing before Judge Bates.

On or about January 6, an eight-minute video was posted to Perna’s Facebook account, which shows Perna and a woman describing their experiences in Washington, D.C. According to the Department of Justice, Perna admitted in the video to walking into the Capitol building with another man.

Witnesses told investigators that Perna was a known supporter of QAnon and its conspiracy theories.

Investigators said Perna admitted to being inside the Capitol but said he was pushed inside by the group. He said he had been at the top of the stairs and was surprised that the door was open.

He did admit to tapping on a window with a metal pole because he was frustrated, according to the statement filed by the Department of Justice.

A criminal complaint was filed against Perna in January and he was indicted Feb. 25 by a federal grand jury.

At least 695 people face a range of charges for participating in the breach of the capitol the day the U.S. Congress was meeting to certify the Electoral College vote of the 2020 presidential election.

A man from Champion and a woman from Ellwood City and Sandy Lake and a man from East Liverpool are among those who are charged with taking part in the breach that took place.

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