Waynesville man sentenced for Jan. 6 riot

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WASHINGTON, DC (WGHP) – Another North Carolina man is in federal prison for storming the U.S. Capitol and trying to disrupt the January 6, 2021 presidential election.

Lewis Easton Cantwell of Waynesville, who pleaded guilty on March 24 on one of the six original charges, was sentenced Dec. 6 to five months in prison followed by 36 months of supervised release, according to federal court filings updated Wednesday.

That sentence, along with $2,000 in restitution, were conditions Cantwell agreed to when he pleaded guilty to obstructing, obstructing or interfering with law enforcement while committing a public disorder and to aiding and abetting.

He is one of 25 accused from the state for being among thousands of supporters of former President Donald Trump, allegedly inspired by Trump’s unfounded rhetoric about a stolen election, storming the Capitol in a deadly siege designed to derail the constitutional confirmation process for President Joe Biden’s November 2020 election.

Rebels loyal to President Donald Trump try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

A bipartisan committee report on January 6 confirmed how at times armed and violent protesters broke windows and doors, threw down barricades and hijacked Capitol Police and other security to parade through the halls of Congress, even as members of the House and Senate cowered in fear and asked for help securing the building and protecting themselves .

They were there hundreds of injured law enforcement officers, death threats about the life of Vice President Mike Pence and others, and finally seven lives were lost during or after the rebellion. Almost 900 people were arrested and counting 465 pleaded guilty. More than 335 of them were convicted.

A special committee of the House of Representatives brought four criminal charges against Trumpand The Ministry of Justice is conducting an investigation. There was also a special adviser assigned to oversee several investigations featuring Trump.

Among those 25 from North Carolina who were charged or convicted were six are residents of the Piedmont Triad. Some of them are testifying in the ongoing trials of the leaders of the “Proud Boys” and “Oath Keepers” police gangs.

Seven out of 25 were sentenced to imprisonment. One received probation. A few more should find out their fates in the next few weeks. Some have served their sentences.

Cantwell’s plea

Cantwell was originally indicted on February 5, 2021 on six counts that included civil disorder, aiding and abetting; obstruction of the official process, assistance; entering and staying in a prohibited building; disorderly conduct and disorderly conduct in a building with limited access; disorderly conduct in the Capitol building; and parades, demonstrations, or picketing at the Capitol building. He was detained on February 18, 2021.

In a statement prepared by U.S. Attorneys Matthew M. Graves and Jacqueline Shesnoll and signed by Cantwell’s attorney, Nicholas Kotsis, Cantwell admits that he “went to one of the entrances to the U.S. Capitol and used his cell phone to take several videos of people struggling with law enforcement officers of the United States Capitol Police to infiltrate the Capitol building.

“During one of the recordings, watching riot police fight with law enforcement officers near the entrance, Cantwell yelled at the riot police to ‘open the door.’ At another point, Cantwell shouted that they needed “fresh patriots for the front.”

He admitted that he “encouraged the rioters to open the door and encouraged more rioters to come to the front where they fought the officers” and that he knew the officers were doing their job.

If not for the plea agreement, Cantwell could have been sentenced to 5 years in federal prison and fined $250,000.

Future cases involving North Carolina residents

Surveillance footage purportedly shows Laura Steele at the US Capitol.
Surveillance footage purportedly shows Laura Steele at the US Capitol.

Laura Steele of Thomasville, a former High Point police officer and member of the Oath Keepers organization, is set to go on trial Feb. 1 — one of several defendants whose cases could end in the next few weeks.

Bradley Stewart Bennett

FROM: Charlotte

ARRESTED: April 12, 2021 THE ACCUSED: April 21, 2021 AWARDED: He did not plead guilty. AWARDED: April 29, 2021 (pleaded not guilty). Reindictment on TRUE ACCOUNT: January 1, 2022

PAYMENTS:

  • Obstruction of official process
  • Entering and being in a prohibited building or area
  • Disorderly conduct and disorderly conduct in a closed building or area
  • Entrance and stay in the galleries of Congress
  • Hooliganism in the Capitol building
  • Parades, demonstrations, or picketing at the Capitol building
  • Obstruction of justice/official proceedings

STATUS: The trial is scheduled for February 21.

Aiden Billiard

FROM: Roles

ARRESTED: November 22, 2001

PAYMENTS: Indictment on eight counts in connection with being in the Capitol and possession of a dangerous weapon, he pleaded guilty on October 20 to one count:

  • Assaulting, resisting, or obstructing an individual officer with a deadly or dangerous weapon.

STATUS: Threaten punishment from 46 to 57 months. The verdict is scheduled for February 2.

Johnny Harris

FROM: Shelby

ARRESTED: March 18, 2021 AWARDED: May 27, 2021 (pleaded not guilty).

PAYMENTS:

  • Knowingly entering or remaining in any prohibited building or premises without lawful authority
  • Knowingly, with the intention to interfere with government activities or the performance of official duties
  • Participating in hooliganism on the Capitol grounds
  • Participating in disorderly conduct or disorderly conduct in the buildings or grounds of the Capitol
  • Parades, demonstrations, or picketing at the Capitol building

STATUS: He remains under bail. The court in the case is scheduled for February 27.

Dale Jeremiah “DJ” Shalvey

FROM: Conover

CHARGED WITH: His wife is Tata Eileen Stottlemeyer Shalvey

ARRESTED: March 9, 2021 THE ACCUSED: April 30, 2021 AWARDED: May 18, 2021 (pleaded not guilty to all charges). SUBSTITUTION OF ACCUSATION: February 2, 2022

PAYMENTS: The accused and his wife he pleaded guilty on October 3 on two counts of the original six he faced and agreed to cooperate with investigators by allowing them access to his social media accounts:

  • Obstruction in official process and aiding and abetting
  • Attack on a policeman

STATUS: He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 24 and could face 41 to 51 months in prison and a fine of $15,000 to $150,000.

Laura Steele

FROM: Thomasville

ARRESTED: February 17, 2021 DESIRED: March 12, 2021 EIGHTH REPLACEMENT ACCUSATION: June 22, 2022

PAYMENTS: She is one of eight defendants from the sworn guards and appears in seven of the nine charges.

  • Conspiracy to obstruct an official hearing
  • Obstruction in official process and aiding and abetting
  • Conspiracy to prevent an officer from performing any duty
  • Destruction of state property and assistance
  • Disorderly conduct and disorderly conduct in a closed building or area
  • Civil disturbances and relief
  • Falsification of documents and proceedings, and aiding and abetting (she is the only one of several charged with this). Burned and destroyed evidence of involvement in the attack

STATUS: The trial is scheduled for February 1.

Eileen Stottlemeier’s dad

FROM: Conover

AKA: Tara Eileen Shalvey assigned to Dale Jeremiah “DJ” Shalvey

ARRESTED: September 14, 2021 SUBSTITUTION OF ACCUSATION: February 2, 2022

PAYMENTS: Accused together with her husband she pleaded guilty on October 3 on one of the first five charges she faced and agreed to cooperate with investigators by allowing them access to her social media accounts:

  • Obstruction in official process and aiding and abetting

STATUS: She is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 20 and could face 15 to 21 months in prison and a fine of $7,500 to $75,000.

Waynesville man sentenced for Jan. 6 riot

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