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Conway man's D.C. riot case delayed to fall

by Bill Bowden | July 22, 2021 at 6:54 a.m.
Peter Francis Stager (Pulaski County sheriff's office & Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

The Capitol-riot case of an Arkansas man has been continued until Sept. 23.

Peter Stager, 42, of Conway is charged with assault, accused of reportedly using a flagpole to beat a Metropolitan Police Officer who was on the ground outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

During a teleconference hearing Wednesday in federal court in the District of Columbia, prosecutors asked for more time to go through hundreds of video files and other materials from the Capitol breach.

There was no objection from Stager, the other four men charged in the same case or their attorneys.

During Wednesday's hearing, Colleen D. Kukowski, assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, told U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan that a plea offer would be made in the case, but she didn't indicate which man would get that offer.

"We do expect to be extending at least one official plea offer soon, and then hopefully others to follow thereafter," she said.

Stager and four other men are charged in the assault of three police officers outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, when supporters of Donald Trump temporarily stopped Congress from certifying the Electoral College vote declaring Joe Biden president.

"A mob stormed the U.S. Capitol by breaking doors and windows and assaulting members of law enforcement, as others in the crowd encouraged and assisted those acts," Kukowski wrote in a memorandum filed in the case Tuesday. "Thousands of individuals entered the U.S. Capitol and U.S. Capitol grounds without authority, halting the Joint Session and the entire official proceeding of Congress for hours until the United States Capitol Police, the Metropolitan Police Department and other law enforcement agencies from the city and surrounding region were able to clear the Capitol of rioters and to ensure the safety of elected officials."

Others charged in Stager's case are Jeffrey Sabol, Michael J. Lopatic Sr., Clayton Ray Mullins and Jack Wade Whitton.

Besides 18 U.S.C. 111(a)(1) and (b); Assaulting, Resisting, or Impeding Certain Officers Using a Dangerous Weapon, Stager faces these charges in the case:

• 18 U.S.C. 1512(c)(2) and 2; Obstruction of an Official Proceeding and Aiding and Abetting.

• 18 U.S.C. 231(a)(3); Civil Disorder.

• 18 U.S.C. 1752(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A); Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds with a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon.

• 18 U.S.C. 1752(a)(2) and (b)(1)(A); Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds with a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon.

• 18 U.S.C. 1752(a)(4) and (b)(1)(A); Engaging in Physical Violence in a Restricted Building or Grounds with a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon.

• 40 U.S.C. 5104(e)(2)(F); Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building.

On Monday, a federal judge sentenced a Florida man to eight months in prison after he pleaded guilty to 8 U.S.C. 1512(c)(2) and 2 -- a charge that Stager also faces. It was the first sentence of a Jan. 6 defendant convicted of a felony.

Stager remains incarcerated in the District of Columbia.

Other Arkansans charged in the Jan. 6 riot are Richard "Bigo" Barnett of Gravette and Jon Mott of Yellville.

Print Headline: Conway man's D.C. riot case delayed to fall


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