WASHINGTON — A 49-year-old woman from Indiana who came to Washington with her hairdresser friend was put on probation Wednesday in the first sentence stemming from the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
With the number of people arrested approaching 500, it was the first of what government officials said would likely be similar proceedings for the hundreds of people who also face low-level charges.
Anna Morgan-Lloyd pleaded guilty to a single charge of illegally demonstrating in the Capitol building. In return, the government dropped three other charges, all of them misdemeanors. She was sentenced in federal court in Washington, D.C., to three years of probation and ordered to perform 120 hours of community service and pay $500 in restitution.
“I would just like to apologize to the court, the American people, and my family,” she said in brief remarks to Judge Royce Lamberth. “I went there to show support for President Trump peacefully, and I’m ashamed that it became a savage display of violence.”
Her friend, Dona Sue Bissey, also faces misdemeanor charges of unlawfully entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct stemming from the riot but has not entered a plea.
Prosecutors said Morgan-Lloyd spent about 10 minutes inside the Capitol on the day of the riot and did not engage in any violent conduct or damage any property.
Morgan-Lloyd admitted in court to driving to Washington to attend the "Save America" rally near the White House. She and Bissey then walked to the Capitol and joined other members of the mob who crossed police lines and went inside.
In the days following the riot, Morgan-Lloyd posted several messages on social media, according to court documents. In one, she gushed, "It was a day I'll remember forever. I'm proud that I was part of it!" In another post she said, "That was the most exciting day of my life."
But prosecutors said that her initial bravado "appears to have been tempered by a realization of the consequences of her actions."
Her lawyer said "she does not intend or expect to ever again break the law." And in a written statement, she said "I felt ashamed that something meant to show support for the president had turned violent."
The charge of illegally demonstrating in the Capitol carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail. But prosecutors said she was cooperative with investigators, admitted her responsibility, expressed remorse, and has no criminal history.
"Though she supported the past president in January, she totally accepts President Biden as the leader of our country," said her lawyer, Heather Shaner of Washington, D.C.