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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Kentucky Man Pleads Guilty to Felony Charge for Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

Defendant Used Stick and Fist to Break Window of Building

            WASHINGTON — A Kentucky man pleaded guilty today to a felony charge for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

            Kurt Peterson, 66, of Hodgenville, Kentucky, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds while using a dangerous or deadly weapon.

            According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Peterson attended a rally near the Ellipse and then headed to the U.S. Capitol, where he illegally entered the grounds. At one point, he stood near a line of law enforcement officers who were outside the Capitol Building. He approached the Capitol carrying a pointed wooden stick. He used the stick to shatter the left pane of an exterior window of the Capitol Building, and then used his first to further break the glass. While smashing the window, Peterson declared, “This is our house! Let us in! Our house!” The cost to repair the window is estimated to be over $2,700.

            Peterson then entered the Capitol at approximately 2:42 p.m. He walked through the building to the area known as the Speaker’s Lobby, where others in the crowd were shouting and banging on the door. He remained in that area until law enforcement officers forced members of the crowd out of the building.

            Peterson was arrested on June 16, 2021, in Hodgenville, Kentucky. A sentencing date has not yet been set. He faces a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison, as well as potential financial penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

            This 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. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky.

            The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Louisville Field Office and the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Peterson as #313 on its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.

            In the 20 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 870 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 265 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.

Updated September 21, 2022