Dayton-area couple charged in U.S. Capitol riot pleads guilty

The Bradford couple charged in connection to the Jan. 6 Washington, D.C., Capitol riot agreed with a judge that they climbed through a window to get into the building and they knew they weren’t supposed to be there.

Brandon and Stephanie Miller pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of parading in the capitol and face up to 6 months of imprisonment. They are due back in court on Dec. 1 for a sentencing hearing. They were not detained and remain in Ohio.

The couple had faced charges of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, according to the Department of Justice. The attorneys said during the hearing Friday that those charges will be dismissed.

The two appeared virtually Friday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. There is not a sentencing guideline agreement between the defense and prosecutors.

“Your lawyers may have told you what they hope I will give you, and maybe the government has told you what they hope I will give … None of that is binding on me. I will determine what sentence I give you,” Judge Tanya Chutkan told the couple.

The couple told the judge that they understood. Messages to their defense attorneys Friday by the Dayton Daily News were not answered.

A criminal complaint filed in the case says that the two were captured multiple times on surveillance video and they posted on social media about taking part in the Capitol riot. The riot and breach of the U.S. Capitol took place as Congress attempted to certify the presidential election for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

The criminal complaint filed in the case says that investigators sought information from Facebook of any Facebook live videos that were uploaded from inside the Capitol that day and found that one account under the name “Brandon Miller” had a video about being at the Capitol.

“Both Millers’ Facebook accounts contained multiple posts and conversations related to their entry into the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021,” the criminal complaint says.

The complaint also says that on Jan. 26, a witness was interviewed by the FBI.

“(Witness one) had heard from another family member that Brandon and Stephanie Miller were at the Capitol and went inside. (Witness one) observed a Facebook Live video on Brandon Miller’s Facebook account that showed himself and Stephanie Miller inside the Capitol,” the criminal complaint says.

The criminal complaint also says on Feb. 11, Capitol Police provided security footage that depicted the couple inside the building. The pictures appear to show the couple walking inside the Capitol.

Investigators also used phone and Google location data to track the couple’s movements while inside the Capitol.

The couple is two of 10 people from the Dayton area charged in the Capitol riot. Bradford is on the line of Darke and Miami counties.

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