Ohio man who included in Capitol riot avoids jail time, sentenced to 2-calendar year probation

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An Ohio gentleman who testified at a congressional hearing about why he stormed the U.S. Capitol avoided imprisonment when a federal judge sentenced him on Thursday to two several years of probation for his purpose.

Right after his televised testimony at a U.S. Home committee’s hearing in July, Stephen Ayres approached and apologized to a group of police officers who had struggled to repel the crowd of rioters on Jan. 6, 2021.

Ayres apologized again on Thursday — this time to the court and the “American people” — just before U.S. District Decide John Bates sentenced him to probation and ordered him to accomplish 100 hours of group provider.

Bates reported he thinks Ayres has revealed genuine remorse and regret for his carry out, like with testimony for the Household committee investigating the insurrection.

“It was a travesty in American heritage, a shocking attack on our democratic values and institutions,” the judge said. “All who participated in that insurrection, I imagine it can be referred to as, ought to be held accountable.”

Ayres explained he has dropped mates, spouse and children and a occupation right after he joined the Jan. 6 attack.

“I pray each individual working day for the officers that are battling with this, the family members that misplaced their beloved ones,” Ayres claimed. “I just hope just one working day I can wake up and not have to are living with it every working day.”

Stephen Ayres, who pleaded guilty last June to disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, has been sentenced to two years of probation.

Stephen Ayres, who pleaded responsible previous June to disorderly and disruptive carry out in a limited developing, has been sentenced to two years of probation.
(WHD Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Prosecutors suggested sentencing Ayres to 60 times of incarceration, a single year of supervised launch and 60 several hours of group assistance. Ayres’ lawyer, Eugene Ohm, sought a sentence of probation without having any jail time.

Ayres, 41, pleaded guilty in June to a person rely of disorderly or disruptive perform in a restricted making or grounds, a misdemeanor punishable by a highest of one year in jail. He wasn’t accused of participating in any violence or property damage.

Ayres was billed with Matthew Perna, a pal from Pennsylvania who joined him in Washington. They attended the Jan. 6 “Halt the Steal” rally, wherever then-President Donald Trump dealt with a crowd of supporters. Then they joined the mob’s assault on the Capitol, getting into the creating as a result of the Senate Wing doorways.

Perna died in February. He had pleaded responsible to riot-relayed expenses in December and was scheduled to be sentenced in March. A submitting notifying the court docket of Perna’s demise does not specify a result in, but Ayres’ attorney reported Perna “took his own lifetime largely because of the pressures of this circumstance.”

“Mr. Ayres thinks of Mr. Perna, who conveyed to him that he felt accountable that Mr. Ayres experienced been charged, each day. Mr. Ayres wonders whether or not and to what extent Mr. Ayres’ situation contributed to Mr. Perna’s melancholy,” Ohm wrote.

Two attorneys who represented Perna did not immediately react to an e mail searching for comment.


Ayres was used as a supervisor for a cupboard company when he was arrested at his household in Warren, Ohio, a lot less than three weeks just after the Capitol attack. His employer fired him.

In a Facebook post before the riot, Ayres wrote, “Mainstream media, social media, Democrat celebration, FISA courts, Chief Justice John Roberts, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and so forth….all have fully commited TREASON against a sitting U.S. president! !! All are now set on observe by ‘We The People today!’”

During a July 12 hearing before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, Ayres testified that he felt as if Trump experienced referred to as him to Washington that day. He mentioned he considered that Trump would sign up for them at the Capitol and held out hope that the 2020 presidential election outcomes could be overturned in favor of the Republican incumbent.

“I felt like I experienced like horse blinders on. I was locked in the total time,” Ayres said.

Ayres instructed committee associates that he and others decided to leave the Capitol suitable immediately after Trump tweeted at 4:17 p.m. for his supporters to go residence.

In a courtroom filing accompanying his guilty plea, Ayres agreed he stayed in the Capitol for roughly 10 minutes. But his testimony about Trump’s tweet suggests he in fact remained in the constructing for approximately 90 minutes, in accordance to prosecutors.

After his testimony, Ayres apologized to previous Capitol Law enforcement Officer Aquilino Gonell, Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges and previous MPD officer Michael Fanone, who ended up in the audience. Fanone advised The that the apology was not essential since “it doesn’t do s— for me.”

At a different hearing on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden sentenced a former U.S. Military reservist to 4 years in prison for storming the Capitol, in accordance to a Justice Section news release. Prosecutors had proposed a prison sentence of six several years and six months for Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, whom they described as a Nazi sympathizer.

Hale-Cusanelli, 32, of Colts Neck, New Jersey, was utilized as an armed protection officer for Naval Weapons Station Earle in New Jersey when he joined the Jan. 6 assault. In Might, a jury convicted him of obstructing Congress from certifying Biden’s 2020 election victory. Prosecutors mentioned Hale-Cusanelli lied when he testified at his trial that he failed to know Congress sat in the Capitol or that its joint session for certifying the Electoral College or university vote was taking area there on Jan. 6.


At minimum 880 persons have been charged with Capitol riot-associated federal crimes. Roughly 400 of them have pleaded responsible and extra than 250 have been 

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