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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Texas Man Sentenced on Felony and Misdemeanor Charges for Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

            WASHINGTON – A Texas man was sentenced today on charges related to 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 convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

            Christopher Grider, 41, of Eddy, Texas, was sentenced in the District of Columbia today to 83 months in prison, 36 months of supervised release, a $812 fine for his conviction of felony and misdemeanor charges.  Grider was also ordered to pay restitution of $5,044. Grider pleaded guilty to two counts before trial and was found guilty on all remaining counts after a bench trial in December 2022.

            According to court documents, on January 6, 2021, after marching through physical barricades and “AREA CLOSED” signs at the Peace Circle, Grider reached the scaffolding covering the northwestern stairway on the West Front of the Capitol. There, Grider watched as a line of police officers struggled to hold the mob back. Grider himself was tear gassed. On the West Front, Grider also assisted other rioters in dismantling police barricades and turning at least one bike rack into a ladder. As Grider made his way up the stairway, he repeatedly turned around to beckon the mob forward. Once on the Upper West Terrace, Grider picked up a discarded Capitol Police helmet.

            Grider entered the Capitol building through the Senate Wing Door less than two minutes after the Capitol building was first breached at that location. Once inside, Grider zeroed in on a utility panel, where he tried (unsuccessfully) to cut power to the Capitol building. Grider next marched to the Crypt, where he and other rioters muscled their way through a line of Capitol Police officers. Grider then continued toward the House Chamber. After ascending to the second floor, Grider again beckoned other rioters to join him: “We gotta get into the Chamber! This way, this way, this way!”  Within minutes, Grider reached a lobby area leading to the House Main Door. As the mob laid siege to those doors, Grider repeatedly offered up his hard black helmet to be used by the rioters as a weapon, brandishing it above his head, as other rioters yelled, “Use your helmet! Use your Kevlar!” and “We need to use our Kevlar to knock out those windows.”

            A few minutes later, when the mob’s siege of the House Main Door stalled, Grider sprinted  toward the Speaker’s Lobby Door. Only three Capitol Police officers, the Speaker’s Lobby glass doors, and some hastily amassed furniture on the other side of those doors stood between the mob and the evacuees. Grider watched as another rioter punched the doors’ glass panes with his bare fists, only inches away from one of the officers. Grider then sought out that rioter’s attention, knocked on the helmet, and handed the helmet to that rioter. Moments later, that rioter violently banged the helmet against the Speaker’s Lobby’s glass doors, breaking the rightmost pane. When a third rioter climbed through that opening, a Capitol Police lieutenant on the other side of the glass doors discharged one round, fatally wounding that third rioter. Grider, who had set that chain of events in motion stood only feet away.

            The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas.

            The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s San Antonio Field Office and the U.S. Capitol Police.

            In the 28 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,000 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 320 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.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
23-277
Updated May 24, 2023