WASHINGTON — An Illinois man was sentenced today on multiple felony and misdemeanor convictions for his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Kevin James Lyons, 40, of Chicago, was sentenced to 51 months in prison after he was convicted of six charges, including one felony and five misdemeanors, following a stipulated trial in the District of Columbia before U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell. In addition to the prison term, Judge Howell ordered 36 months of supervised release and restitution of $2,000 to the Architect of the Capitol.
According to the government’s stipulated evidence, on Jan. 5, 2021, Lyons posted on his Instagram account a map with directions from his hometown in Chicago to Washington, D.C., commenting, “I refuse to tell my children that I sat back did nothing. I’m heading to DC to STOP THE STEAL!” On Jan. 6, 2021, Lyons attended a rally on the Ellipse and, afterward, joined a crowd of others as they traveled to the Capitol building. Lyons recorded much of his actions that day with his cell phone and texted periodic updates to others not present at the Capitol.
Once on the Capitol grounds, Lyons gathered with other rioters and encountered tear gas and flashbangs. Lyons did not leave the grounds; rather, he stated his intentions, saying, “We’re storming the Capitol building” and “I guess we’re all going to jail.” Lyons then yelled, “Let’s take it!” before heading up the Capitol stairs toward the Senate Wing doors. Lyons yelled comments at police officers while he walked toward the Senate Wing door, saying, “Oath breakers!” “Fucking Nazi bastards!” and “Traitors!”
Once inside the Capitol building, Lyons walked down a hallway towards the Crypt, shouting, “Nancy, where are you?” and repeatedly calling out the Speaker’s name in a menacing tone, joining others in searching for the former Speaker of the House. Lyons also called out to House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer. Lyons eventually made his way to the House Speaker’s office. Inside the office, Lyons filmed himself as he walked around a took a picture of himself reflected in a mirror. Lyons approached a coat hanging on a rack, removed a wallet from the jacket, and placed it inside his hooded zip-up pocket. Inside of the Speaker’s office suite, Lyons repeatedly encouraged other rioters to steal items from the office.
Lyons then entered the House Speaker’s personal office and removed a framed photograph from atop her mantle. The photograph, which depicted the Speaker with the late Representative John Lewis standing in front of the Gate of No Return in Ghana during their final trip abroad together, had been given to the Speaker two months after Congressman Lewis’ death. The photograph was a gift from a former member of her staff who had been on the trip and took the picture. Lyons later texted a picture of the photograph, stating, “I took this off Nancy Pelosi’s fucking desk!!” and” I’m pretty confident I am now a multiple Federal felon.” After leaving the Capitol in a rideshare, Lyons posed for a photo holding the stolen framed photograph that he had taken from the House Speaker’s office. The framed photograph was never recovered.
Lyons was found guilty on April 7, 2023, of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; entering and remaining in certain rooms in the Capitol building; disorderly conduct at the grounds and in a Capitol building; parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building; and obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting.
This case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.
.This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington and Chicago Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 30 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,069 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 charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.