September 17, 2021

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West Virginia woman pleads guilty to participating in January 6 riot at Capitol – CBS News

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Washington, D.C. — A West Virginia woman admitted in court Monday that she entered the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and picked up a “Members Only” Senate sign, as supporters of former President Trump ransacked the Capitol and tried to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. The sign is normally used to mark areas of restricted public access to the building.

Gracyn Courtright pleaded guilty to one count of unlawfully and knowingly entering and remaining in a restricted building and grounds on Monday as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. The government agreed to dismiss four additional counts against Courtright for her alleged participation in the January 6 attack.

According to court documents, a now-defunct social media account alleged to belong to Courtright contained multiple photos of the January 6 riot with captions that read, “can’t wait to tell my grandkids I was here!” and “Infamy is just as good as fame. Either way I end up more known.”

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Screenshot of Gracyn Courtright’s Instagram post from January 6 at the U.S. Capitol. From criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court

Appearing virtually before Judge Christopher Cooper, the one-time University of Kentucky student now sounded uncomfortable with her notoriety, describing herself as “shaky.” Asked how she pleaded to the charge, Courtright seemed tearful when she replied, “I plead guilty.”

The misdemeanor to which Courtright pleaded guilty carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison. Judge Cooper will impose his sentence in November and, although he said he hoped to do so at an in-person hearing, as opposed to the virtual proceedings the Court has conducted due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Courtright’s vaccination status may alter those plans.

Her attorney told the court that his client and her family “are not vaccinated and don’t intend on getting vaccinated.” When asked by Judge Cooper if her vaccination status might change before her sentencing, she simply responded, “Probably not, your honor.”  

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