WASHINGTON — A federal judge convicted a Maryland man of four felony counts and other misdemeanor charges Friday, but said the government had failed to prove he ever assaulted any officers or committed violence on Jan. 6, 2021.
Daniel Dean Egtvedt, of Garrett County, appeared before U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper Friday morning for a verdict hearing. Last week, Cooper presided over a bench trial in which Egtvedt faced nine counts, among them two felony counts of assaulting, resisting or impeding police.
Egtvedt and his attorneys Kira Anne West and Nicole Anne Cubbage denied throughout the case that Egtvedt ever assaulted anyone. They argued it was U.S. Capitol Police officers who, in fact, were overly aggressive with Egtvedt and initiated a scuffle that resulted in him slamming the back of his head against a marble column.
On Friday, Cooper convicted Egtvedt of two counts of forcibly resisting or impeding police – but said the Justice Department had failed to prove he ever assaulted or intended to assault any officers. Cooper also acquitted Egtvedt of two misdemeanor counts of engaging in an act of physical violence. Although Egtvedt was found guilty of the underlying charge for resisting police, Cooper’s finding that he committed no assault could mean Egtvedt will face a lower potential sentencing range at his hearing on March 16.
Egtvedt entered the U.S. Capitol Building during the second breach of the Senate Wing doors after he’d already been pepper sprayed by an unidentified police officer. After entering, he berated police and called them “traitors” and urged others to come to the Capitol to “reclaim” the country. He also screamed “Shoot me!” at officers who were attempting to remove him from the building. All of that, Cooper said, was sufficient evidence Egtvedt intended to obstruct the joint session of Congress.”
“Obstructing was not an unintended consequence of defendant’s trip to the Capitol,” Cooper said, “it was the purpose.”
Cooper also said he found Egtvedt’s argument that he believed he had permission to enter the building from former President Donald Trump “unpersuasive,” and said even compared to other riot cases, Egtvedt’s behavior inside the building was notable.
“Even among the conduct on Jan. 6, Mr. Egtvedt stands out as being particularly loud and disruptive,” Cooper said.
Over the government’s objection, Cooper agreed to allow Egtvedt to remain on presentencing release, saying he had not committed a single violation in more than a year. Egtvedt will be sentenced on March 16 at 2 p.m. and will likely face a minimum sentencing range of 15-21 months in prison on the obstruction of an official proceeding count. Prosecutors said in court they anticipated Egtvedt could face a substantially higher range of four-to-five years in prison – something Egtvedt’s attorney disputed.
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