NAMPA, Idaho, Sept. 8, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — An Idaho man pleaded guilty Wednesday to two felony charges, including assaulting a law enforcement officer, for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
A news release from the FBI said that according to court documents, Duke Edward Wilson, 67, of Nampa, went to the U.S. Capitol on that day wearing a purple and white baseball hat that read, “CNN,” with the words, “FAKE NEWS” underneath it. He entered the Lower West Terrace tunnel area of the U.S Capitol Building shortly before 3 p.m.
At that time, the crowd was pushing against law enforcement officers in efforts to enter the building while spraying liquid irritants toward the officers as they pushed on the officers’ shields, the news release said.
“Wilson made his way to the front line of the crowd, and as officers tried to close a set of double doors, he grabbed for them and tried to pull the door open,” the news release said. “He then raised what appeared to be a tablet device to deflect the liquid irritant officers were spraying at the crowd. Wilson then picked up a several feet long white cylindrical object, believed to be a thin polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe, and indiscriminately used it to strike at the officers, hitting one.”
Wilson then allegedly raised the pipe above his head and threw it into the line of officers. As the confrontation continued, he also allegedly assisted others in attempting to pull a shield away from an officer, then during a struggle over the shield, he pushed an officer to the ground and then joined others in pushing another officer.
The suspect pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 22. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for obstruction of an official proceeding, and up to eight years and a $250,000 fine for assault on law enforcement.
Wilson was arrested in Idaho on April 15 and remains on personal recognizance pending sentencing. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
In the seven months since Jan. 6, more than 570 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 170 people charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.