Virginia man sentenced for his part in the Capitol insurrection

Joshua Haynes entered a guilty plea for destruction of property and obstruction.
Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 7:09 PM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Joshua Haynes of Covington, Virginia, was sentenced to 32 months behind bars and 36 months of supervised release for his part in the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection.

Prosecutors said Haynes entered the U.S. Capitol, smashed and stomped equipment at a media staging area, and helped others to dismantle an air conditioner.

After reaching a plea deal, he entered a guilty plea in federal court in October. Under the plea agreement, Haynes pled guilty to two felonies, including obstruction of an official proceeding and destruction of property in special maritime and territorial jurisdiction.

Photojournalist Ralf Oberti spoke at the sentencing. He described the day that he and other journalists had their equipment destroyed as ‘very scary.’ He spoke to Washington News Bureau reporter Jamie Bittner about the nightmares he experienced after the attack.

“Mostly for me was the disappointment, somehow, that something like that could happen in the United States of America. I’ve been an immigrant in this country for about 25 years, and I’m coming from a very politicized country, Chile. And so, I’ve seen enough unrest there. And, I’ve seen in other countries that I covered, I’ve seen in a country where the unrest is due to poverty, you name it. But, I never thought it was gonna happen here, and I never thought they’re going to attack the press the way they did it,” he said.

In court, Haynes turned to Oberti and told him, “I am very sorry to you sir.”

Court paperwork claims Haynes was captured on video causing the destruction of the media area while wearing a mask. That paperwork said Haynes, “slammed down multiple pieces of equipment,” threw a light, lifted and dropped a video camera fixed to a tripod, and stomped on the camera as well. Investigators said another video caught him standing inside the Capitol with his mask off. One more video, paperwork claims, shows Haynes assisting two people to forcibly remove an air conditioning unit from a building outside the U.S. Capitol and dropping it to the ground.

Prosecutors said Haynes snapped selfies both inside a senator’s office and beside the media equipment he is accused of destroying.

Read the full criminal complaint here

The paperwork also details a string of messages Haynes alleged sent to friends including, “they had to run away from us and leave all their equipment so we destroyed it,” “I Kicked the fake news (expletive),” and, “I want to get busted for tearing up the nations capital [sic] and the fake news.”

Investigations of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th have led to the arrests of more than 725 people across nearly all 50 states. More than 225 of those people were charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

The U.S. Capitol breach on January 6, 2021 forced Congress to evacuate to secure locations on the day when lawmakers were scheduled to count the Electoral College ballots and certify Joe Biden’s election victory as president. Lawmakers returned that night to finish the certification once the complex was secured by DC Metropolitan Police, the National Guard and U.S. Capitol Police.

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