Year after Capitol riot, criminal cases still pending against 7 Connecticut residents

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One year after a mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, seeking to prevent the certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory, the criminal cases involving seven Connecticut residents — who were among the more than 725 arrested — remain pending.

“To me, there’s like two groups of people: the leaders and followers,” said Mike Lawlor, an associate professor of criminal justice at the University of New Haven and former state legislator who chaired the house judiciary committee for more than a decade.

“For the most part, the people who have been prosecuted, been arrested and charged, so far are the followers ... they did commit crimes, but I think the real culpability is on the organizers.”

He said more will likely be revealed as the U.S. House committee investigating the attack makes public more of the evidence it claims to have.

On Monday, the committee leaders sent a letter to Fox News host Sean Hannity, requesting he answer questions about his communications with the White House while the riot occurred and in the days afterward.

In a statement regarding the one-year anniversary of the attack, the Department of Justice said the investigation and prosecution of those who were responsible “continues to move forward at an unprecedented speed and scale.”

“The Department of Justice’s resolve to hold accountable those who committed crimes on Jan. 6, 2021, has not, and will not, wane,” the agency’s statement said.

“On the one hand, I actually feel sorry for some of these people who followed along and thought they were saving the country somehow, but on the other hand, you’re supposed to know better,” Lawlor said.

None of the seven Connecticut residents, whose charges range from unlawful entry to assaulting an officer, have pleaded guilty in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021 riot, court records indicate.

Here’s a look at where each of their cases stand:

Jeremy K. Baouche, of New London

An engineer for Electric Boat in Groton with a secret security clearance, Jeremy K. Baouche, of New London, was arrested in November after investigators received multiple tips that he had entered the Capitol building, according to court documents.

Baouche, 24, is facing federal charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a capitol building; and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a capitol building.

Court filings indicate the FBI was alerted days after the riot that Baouche was among those who entered the Capitol building Jan. 6, 2021.

Baouche refused to speak to investigators without an attorney when they tried to interview him at Electric Boat on Jan. 20, 2021, according to court documents. Investigators learned that he had taken off from work last Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, court documents state.

Electric Boat also provided investigators with Baouche’s internet search history from his work computer, the court documents state.

“In Baouche’s search history, there were searches on topics, including the inauguration, the U.S. Capitol building layout, guns, rifle scopes, lasers, Trump protests, FBI Capitol, and searches for jobs in the western U.S. It should be noted that Baouche has a secret security clearance as part of his employment,” a Norwich police detective and member of an FBI task force wrote in a charging document.

Electric Boat did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Baouche was released and is scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 19, court records indicate. As part of his release, he was ordered to stay away from Washington except for court appearances, cannot possess weapons, and has to notify authorities if he leaves Connecticut and seek approval for travel outside of the country.

Baouche’s public defender declined to comment on the case.

Carla Krzywicki and Jean Lavin, of Canterbury

Jean Lavin, 57, and her daughter, Carla Krzywicki, 20, of Canterbury, were arrested on Sept. 14 in Connecticut after investigators were tipped off about a Facebook post showing they both entered the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, according to court documents.

They have each been charged with entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a capitol building; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a capitol building.

Investigators also used the location of Krzywicki’s cellphone to trace the pair to the Capitol the day of the riot, court documents state. The two were also captured on video climbing up and into the Capitol building with other rioters, according to court documents.

Once inside, the two were also caught on video, with Lavin carrying a sign that read “Trump Won,” according to court documents. Both later admitted to entering the Capitol building during interviews with FBI agents, court documents show.

They are scheduled to appear in court for a plea agreement hearing on Jan. 11, court records show.

Lavin’s public defender did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Krzywicki’s lawyer, Heather Shaner, said the government is offering her client a deal to plead guilty to the charge of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a capitol building. That would result in a maximum sentence of six months in prison and $510 in restitution and court fees.

“She is a very sweet, intelligent young woman,” Shaner said.

Patrick McCaughey III, of Ridgefield

Patrick McCaughey III, of Ridgefield, was arrested weeks after the Capitol riot, after investigators alleged he crushed a member of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police with a riot shield as the crowd was trying to push into a lower entrance to the building, court documents state.

The 24-year-old faces federal charges of assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officer or employees, civil disorder, entering restricted building or grounds, and violent entry or disorderly conduct.

McCaughey’s attorney did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Video of the crowd trying to break through at the lower west terrace entrance was later posted to YouTube. After the FBI and police asked the public for help identifying the people involved, a witness identified McCaughey, saying they had known each other since they were children, court records indicate.

Investigators allege McCaughey used a riot shield to pin Metro police Officer Daniel Hodges in a door frame near the entrance, according to court documents.

“As Officer Hodges was being pinned to the door by McCaughey, a separate rioter was violently ripping off Officer Hodges’ gas mask exposing Officer Hodges’ bloodied mouth. As McCaughey was using the riot shield to push against Officer Hodges, numerous other rioters behind and around McCaughey appeared to add to the weight against Officer Hodges,” a charging document for McCaughey’s arrest states.

McCaughey was initially ordered detained, but was released on bond in May after his family put up a bond that included a lien on a property in New Canaan.

Federal authorities have since also indicted eight other individuals in connection with the attack on Hodges, court records indicate. McCaughey is next due in court for a status conference on Feb. 4.

Richard T. Crosby Jr., of Harwinton

Federal authorities arrested Richard T. Crosby, of Harwinton, on June 3, 2021, after they said he was seen on video standing with Jacob Chansley, the “Q Anon Shaman,” at the Senate chamber dais.

Crosby, 26, is facing charges of obstructing justice, disorderly conduct and entering a restricted building related to the Capitol breach.

Crosby’s public defender declined to comment on the case.

According to court documents, FBI agents interviewed Crosby in April at his Litchfield County home. During the interview, Crosby told the agents he heard about the event through social media and wanted to attend to make his “voice heard,” because “he believed the 2020 presidential election was stolen,” the court documents state.

Crosby told investigators he entered the Capitol building through an open door and followed the crowd into the Senate chamber, according to the court documents. Crosby told investigators he left after a large number of police entered the chamber and told those present to leave with their hands up, the documents state.

Crosby is due in federal court on Feb. 10 for a status conference, court records show.

Victoria Bergeson and Mauricio Mendez, of Groton

Victoria Bergeson, 41, and Mauricio Mendez, 41, traveled from their Groton home to the Capitol and were among the first wave of arrests made by Capitol police the day after the riots.

They have been charged with unlawful entry and curfew violation. They have each rejected plea offers and requested jury trials, court records indicate.

Bergeson’s attorney has said she was arrested along with a group of people at the nearby Peace Monument away from the Capitol building, and didn’t know she was on Capitol grounds.

The cases have also been stalled, according to court records, because of the large volume of evidence the government has provided as part of discovery. The court has asked prosecutors to give the defendants’ lawyers a better idea of which of the more than 6,000 videos are relevant to their case, but no deadline has been set.

Both are due in court for a status hearing on Jan. 28.

Samuel Bogash, Bergeson’s attorney, said Wednesday his client maintains she didn’t enter the Capitol building and intends to take the case to trial.

The government had initially offered Bergeson and some of the other roughly two dozen people arrested at the monument deferred prosecution agreements, Bogash said. That would have allowed them to perform a certain amount of community service and have the charges dismissed after a period of time.

But Bogash said Bergeson and a handful of the others arrested declined that option because of paragraphs in the agreement that would have meant they agreed the government had probable cause and sufficient evidence they had committed the acts they were charged with, and because the agreements left them open to be charged with anything else they may have done that day.

“So I suspect on the 28th, we may actually pick a trial date,” Bogash said.

He said Mendez and Bergeson are still together and Mendez also intends to take the case to trial. He said a trial likely wouldn’t occur until the summer or fall.

Mendez could not be reached for comment.

Past reporting by Nicholas Rondinone and Raga Justin contributed to this report.