8 Kansans federally indicted in Jan. 6 assault on U.S. Capitol
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The nation paused Thursday to reflect on the one-year anniversary of the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.
More than 700 people have been charged in the crimes committed during the insurrection, including eight people from Kansas.
Ryan Ashlock of Gardner, William Chrestman and Christopher Kuehne, both from Olathe, were among those indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice. So were Jennifer Parks and Esther Schwemmer, both from Leavenworth, William Pope from Topeka, Mark Rebegila from St. Mary’s and Michael Eckerman from Wichita.
According to court documents, Ashlock, Chrestman and Kuehne are alleged to be with a Kansas City area group called “The Proud Boys.” All three were charged with similar counts including conspiracy, entering, and remaining in a restricted building among other charges. Ashlock and Chrestman also have charges including carrying deadly or dangerous weapons with Chrestman allegedly threatening a federal officer.
Schwemmer pleaded guilty to parading, demonstrating or picketing in a capitol building. She has not yet been sentenced. Jennifer Parks also plead guilty to the same count and was sentenced to 24 months probation, $500 in restitution and 60 hours of community service.
William Pope is charged with civil disorder, entering and remaining in a restricted building among other charges. According to the justice department’s Statement of Facts, Pope ran for Topeka city council back in 2019. He turned himself in to the FBI on their internet tip system saying in part: “I did not damage any property or engage in any violence. I am loyal to the United States and was only there to exercise my freedom of speech. I left the building voluntarily.”
Rebegila pleaded guilty to parading, demonstrating or picketing in a capitol building. His sentencing is set for March 10, 2022. Court documents allege Rebegila sat in a lawmaker’s chair and stole a bottle of liquor.
Michael Eckerman, of Wichita, is charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers, civil disorder among many other charges. According to the DOJ, a capitol police officer said Eckerman pushed him with aggressive force, causing the officer to fall down a small set of stairs where he was sprayed in the face with a fire extinguisher by an unknown individual.
Eyewitness News reached out to the attorneys for each person involved. Some said they cannot give information on active cases. Many of those charged are still awaiting sentencing.
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