- A Virginia man who destroyed media equipment on Jan. 6 pleaded guilty to two felonies on Friday.
- Prosecutors say Joshua Dillon Haynes sent several texts bragging about his role in the siege.
A Virginia man who bragged about destroying media equipment outside the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, pleaded guilty Friday to two felony counts related to the riot.
Joshua Dillon Haynes, 40, was originally charged with seven counts in connection with the siege following his arrest in July 2021, including physical violence and aggravated trespass. But as the government works to prosecute the more than 900 people arrested in connection with the attack, federal prosecutors have offered some insurgents lesser charges in exchange for their guilty pleas.
On Friday, Haynes pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing an official proceeding and one count of destruction of property. The two charges carry a possible maximum sentence of 25 years, although Haynes’ plea agreement indicates he will likely receive between 27 and 33 months in prison when he is sentenced in January.
Photographs from the scene show Haynes among a group of rioters who damaged tens of thousands of dollars worth of media equipment, including cameras, tripods and lights, prosecutors said. One media member forced to flee the encroaching mob estimated that the destroyed equipment from his news organization alone was worth between $30,000 and $34,000, according to court documents.
In text messages to friends throughout the day, Haynes bragged about breaking “a lot of stuff” and kicking “the fake news ass.”
“We attacked the CNN reporters and the fake news and destroyed tens of thousands of $11,000 worth of their video and television equipment,” Haynes sent in a text message along with a photo of the pile, according to prosecutors.
In a separate text message that day, Haynes said he had already seen himself in video footage from the scene but noted he had kept his face covered.
“I want to be spanked for tearing up the nation’s capital [sic] and the fake news,” he wrote, according to court documents.
Prosecutors said Haynes also assisted two other rioters who removed an air conditioning unit from a window inside the Capitol and then dropped it to the ground.
Haynes pleaded guilty in federal court on Friday, according to WUSA and Law & Crime.
An attorney for Haynes did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.