Four Virginians charged in Capitol insurrection
WASHINGTON, DC (WDBJ) - It’s been a year since a mob attacked the United States Capitol building while Congress was counting electoral votes.
One person was killed and several injured during what’s since been described as the January 6th Insurrection.
Four people from southwest Virginia have been charged in connection with the event.
The first to be arrested were Thomas Robertson and Jacob Fracker.
Robertson was a Rocky Mount Police officer when he was arrested in mid-January, not long after the attack at the Capitol. Shortly after arrest, Robertson and his co-defendant and colleague, Officer Jacob Fracker, were placed on administrative leave with the police department.
Then came suspension without pay, and eventually termination from the department.
According to the criminal complaint, FBI agents reviewed messages Fracker allegedly sent to friends following the event. Agents claimed he sent videos, pictures and messages - in one of which he claimed to use the toilet of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
They were indicted in late January and soon after pleaded not guilty.
This came after the FBI searched Robertson’s home, finding guns they say he didn’t relocate by the court’s deadline. In June, the FBI made its second search of Robertson’s home, where agents reported finding guns, ammunition and a partially assembled pipe bomb.
They also reported searching online records they claim show he was buying and selling guns online. Robertson argued the pipe bomb pieces were a training device from his work as an officer, and that a gun agents found in his room actually belonged to his son.
Robertson’s release order was revoked and he was incarcerated.
In late July, prosecutors offer Robertson and Fracker a wired plea deal. But nothing came of it - with Fracker’s attorney saying because Robertson was not interested, his client was not able to independently agree to or deny the deal set forth.
In late October, court records show Robertson requested at-home confinement instead of jail - a request the court denied. Now, while he awaits trial, Robertson has asked that the charge of obstruction of an official proceeding be dismissed.
He and his attorney claim in a new document the January 6 electoral count was not an official proceeding and that the charge is vague. The government has rebuked the idea and rebutted in a document of its own.
Robertson and Fracker are set for a status conference in late January. They’re set to face trial early April.
Jeremy Groseclose, a Montgomery County resident, was arrested in late February, just a few weeks after the attack on the Capitol.
Within days of the event, the FBI said it received a tip that Groseclose was involved. According to agents with the FBI, they believe he posted pictures on his Facebook page, pertaining to the woman who was shot and bragging about the activity at the Capitol. Those photos, the agency says, were later taken down.
Examining hundreds of hours of surveillance video and thousands of pictures, the FBI believes they can see Groseclose on video inside the building - using a cell phone to take pictures of himself and other people.
Investigators said they also believe he was one of several people using a trash can to prop open a door that police were trying to close.
Groseclose was released on bond under the condition that he not travel to DC, among other restrictions.
While his attorney was recently swapped out for another, his case has remained relatively quiet. He was indicted early December on six charges, which include Obstruction of Law Enforcement During Civil Disorder. His case is set for a status update later this month.
Joshua Dillon Haynes from Covington was arrested in July of 2021. He was charged with Acts of Physical Violence on Capitol grounds, in addition to six other charges.
In the FBI’s first criminal complaint, agents said several images and videos from January 6 show a man identified as Haynes destroying media equipment and removing an AC unit from a Capitol window.
That includes selfies FBI agents said he took from inside a senator’s office.
The complaint also outlines messages agents claim he texted to friends that day, including one that read: “We attacked the CNN reporters and the fake news and destroyed tens of thousands of dollars of their video and television equipment here’s a picture behind me of the pile we made out of it.”
Fast forward to just after his July arrest - where Haynes was ordered to comply with home incarceration, GPS monitoring and mental health treatment.
Then, later that month, Haynes was arrested by officers in his home of Alleghany County - where he was charged with assaulting a family member, destroying property and strangulation. He was incarcerated and his bond revoked - meaning Haynes remains in jail.
His case is set for a status check later this month. Meanwhile, his attorney in DC says his federal case will be on hold until the local charges are resolved.
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