HELENA – Two Montana brothers whom the FBI has said were among the first people to break into the U.S. Capitol while Congress was certifying the 2020 Electoral College vote have reached agreements calling for them to plead guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding.
Jerod and Joshua Hughes of East Helena will have eight other counts dismissed under the agreement, Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Allen told U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly on Thursday.
Kelly set a change-of-plea hearing for Aug. 24, the Independent Record reported.
The charges stem from Jan. 6, 2021, when supporters of then-President Donald Trump broke into the U.S. Capitol and halted a joint session of Congress meeting to certify Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential electoral victory.
The Hughes brothers climbed through a broken window and Jerod Hughes helped kick open a door to allow other rioters inside, the FBI said in charging documents.
The brothers were right behind the primary aggressor who pursued Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman up the stairs, investigators said. Goodman was able to bait the mob away from the Senate floor, which had not yet been evacuated.
An obstruction charge carries a sentence of 41 to 51 months in prison, said attorney Palmer Hoovestal, who is representing Joshua Hughes.
“We’ll obviously dispute that,” Hoovestal said.
Also Thursday, Andrew Michael Cavanaugh, 37, of Bozeman, was sentenced to two years on probation, 60 hours of community service and ordered to pay $500 in restitution for his role in the Capitol riot, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported.
Cavanaugh, a former Marine, pleaded guilty in February to a misdemeanor charge of parading, demonstrating or picketing at the Capitol Building. He was identified as having been in the Capitol because he was wearing a hat with the name of his now-defunct firearm academy that day.
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