A look at the four cases against people from NM charged with Jan. 6 crimes
Screenshots of U.S. Capitol Police body camera footage showing Shawn Bradley Witzemann using his cell phone to record video from inside the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. Prosecutors included the screenshots in case documents and circled Witzemann in red. (Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Justice)
Federal prosecutors charged four people from New Mexico with crimes committed during the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Investigators found two of suspects by reviewing Capitol surveillance footage and phone GPS data. They found two others by reviewing their posts on social media as thousands of election-deniers stormed the building in an attempt to stop the certification of President Biden’s victory.
Reporter Jacob Fischler analyzed the court documents laying out cases against the 412 defendants from the 26 states with a States Newsroom outlet, including New Mexico. A searchable, state-by-state database including every one of those 412 defendants is here.
The following info is based on those and other court records:
Couy Griffin, an Otero County commissioner and founder of Cowboys for Trump, was identified by investigators through his own social media, interviews he gave to news outlets, and public comment at a County Commission meeting.
The FBI arrested him on Jan. 17, 2021 in Washington, D.C.
He made his initial appearance in court on Feb. 1, 2021 and was released on bond four days later.
Prosecutors charged him on Feb. 8, 2021, and his arraignment was March 11, 2021. Griffin is charged with entering and remaining in a restricted building, and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building.
He pleaded not guilty, and remains out of jail on a personal recognizance bond.
A one-day bench trial is scheduled to be held on March 21.
Leonard Gruppo, of Clovis, was identified by investigators combing through Capitol surveillance video.
Police arrested him on June 1, 2021 in Lubbock, Texas.
Prosecutors charged him on June 7, 2021 with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct on capitol grounds; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a capitol building.
Gruppo was arraigned on June 15, and he pleaded not guilty to all counts.
He took a plea deal that August, in which he pled guilty to parading, demonstrating or picketing in a capitol building.
A judge sentenced him on Oct. 29, 2021 to two years probation with 90 days of home detention, $500 restitution to the U.S. Treasury to help pay for damage to the Capitol and a $3,000 fine.
Matthew Martin was identified by investigators using phone geolocation data and Capitol surveillance video. Police arrested him in Santa Fe on April 22, 2021.
Prosecutors charged Martin on June 9, 2021 with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; disorderly conduct which impedes the conduct of government business; disruptive conduct in the capitol buildings; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in the capitol buildings.
He was arraigned on July 2, 2021, and pleaded not guilty to all counts.
Martin remains out of jail on his personal recognizance. A bench trial is scheduled for April 5.
Shawn Bradley Witzemann
Shawn Bradley Witzemann was identified by investigators who looked through Witzemann’s own social media posts, as well as police body cam footage.
Police arrested him in Farmington on April 6, 2021. He made his first appearance in court the next day.
A judge released him on his own recognizance on April 15, 2021.
Prosecutors charged Witzemann later that month with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; violent entry and disorderly conduct on capitol grounds; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a capitol building.
He was arraigned on May 10, 2021.
A status conference in Witzemann’s case is scheduled for April 13.
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