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Man who threatened to kill Pelosi and Bowser pleads guilty

Cleveland Meredith faces up to five years in prison as part of a felony plea, far more time than prosecutors will seek for five other Capitol rioters who agreed to misdemeanor plea deals Friday. 

WASHINGTON (CN) — A Georgia man who threatened to murder House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser the day after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot pleaded guilty Friday to a felony count of interstate communication of threats. Cleveland Grover Meredith intended to arrive in Washington on Jan. 5 in time for former President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally, but didn’t end up leaving Colorado, where he was on a ski trip, until Jan. 6. 

The following day he arrived in Washington with two firearms, several high-capacity magazines and over 2,500 rounds of ammunition. On the way, he sent texts like “Burn DC to the FKG ground” and “I may wander over to the Mayor’s office and put a 5.56 in her skull, FKG cunt,” among others. 

Meredith, who has a history of mental illness and is a habitual marijuana user, assaulted someone in Washington that same day — he exited his truck, head-butted someone, knocked them to the ground and assaulted them on the ground. 

"Your lawyer has objected to my characterization of 'putting a bullet in her noggin' as threatening to kill Pelosi,” U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said to Meredith at his plea hearing. “Did you threaten to shoot her in the head?"

"Yes, your honor,” Meredith replied. “It was a political hyperbole."

Meredith will remain behind bars until his sentencing, where he could receive a maximum sentence of up to five years, though prosecutors recommend between 12 and 24 months. He’s already served several months in pretrial detention. 

Five other Capitol rioters also pleaded guilty to their role in the Jan. 6 insurrection on Friday — all of them accepting misdemeanor plea deals from the Justice Department. 

This composite image shows evidence from the government against Capitol rioters Douglas Wangler and Bruce Harrison. (Image via Courthouse News)

Douglas Wangler and Bruce Harrison, two friends from Illinois, pleaded guilty to parading, picketing or demonstrating in the Capitol. They spent 20 minutes inside the Capitol, and said they tried to avoid the violence. 

“If walking around and singing some patriotic songs is a crime, then I guess I am guilty,” Wangler allegedly told someone later.

Screenshot of evidence the government's case against Capitol rioters Brandon and Stephanie Miller, a married couple from Ohio. (Image via Courthouse News)

Joining Wangler and Harrison in pleading guilty to the misdemeanor parading charge was a married couple from Ohio who livestreamed their time in the Capitol and posted about it afterward extensively on social media. 

“We was there it was peaceful yeah we got in the Capital but wasn’t burning down the city or destroying businesses just a couple broke windows in a taxpayers building they work for us,” Brandon Miller wrote in a comment on Facebook. 

“What a shame pictures and media try to make something out to be when it wasn’t. Someone can believed whatever they want, but until your physically there and seen it, then your lying to yourself. What an experience it was and feeling to have after!” Stephanie MIller wrote. 

Wangler, Harrison and the Millers face a maximum sentence of six months in prison. 

Screenshot of evidence the government's case against Capitol rioter Felipe Marquez. (Image via Courthouse News)

Felipe Marquez, a Florida man who drove his Tesla up to Washington, pleaded guilty Friday to disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building.

While in the Capitol, Marquez went inside a “hideaway office” used by Senator Merkley, where he sat at a conference table with other rioters. 

In an interview with CBS, Marquez said that being at the riot was a “Rosa Parks” or “Martin Luther King moment” for him. 

Marquez faces up to one year in prison. 

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