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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Ocala couple pleads guilty to involvement in Jan. 6 Capitol riot

A married couple from Ocala has pleaded guilty to felony and misdemeanor charges in connection with the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Jamie Buteau, 50, and Jennifer Buteau, 46, entered their guilty pleas on Monday in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Ocala couple pleads guilty to involvement in Jan. 6 Capitol breach
Jamie Buteau (left) and Jennifer Buteau (right)

Jamie Buteau pleaded guilty to a felony offense of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers. Jennifer Buteau pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor offense of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

According to court documents, the Ocala couple traveled from their residence to Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021 to protest the results of the 2020 presidential election. At around 2:25 p.m., they entered the U.S. Capitol building through the Senate wing door after it had been breached, and an adjacent window was broken by a crowd of rioters.

Once inside the Capitol, the couple moved with a large crowd of rioters to a lobby that separated the Crypt from the Capitol Visitors Center.

U.S. Capitol police officers attempted to establish a line to hold back the rioters. Court documents state that the officers were overwhelmed by the rioters, and they began to retreat from the area. The officers attempted to pull down a set of rolling doors to protect themselves and separate the lobby from the Visitors Center.

The rioters blocked the rolling doors and prevented them from closing. According to court documents, Jamie Buteau proceeded to pick up a chair, and he threw it at the officers. The chair bounced off the wall and struck one of the officers in the arm.

The Buteaus then walked through the Capitol building, including the Visitors Center, orientation lobby, and Crypt, before exiting through the House wing doors at around 2:45 p.m.

A sentencing hearing for Jamie Buteau and Jennifer Buteau has been scheduled for October 20, 2023. Their case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

In the 30 months since January 6, 2021, over 1,060 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 350 individuals who have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement officers.