NC Man Hits Police With Flag Pole Jan. 6; He now faces up to 8 years in prison

NC Man Hits Police With Flag Pole Jan. 6; He now faces up to 8 years in prison

On January 6, 2021, Matthew Bedingfield used a flagpole on top of an American flag to stab a police officer in the genitals to try to keep him away from the US Capitol.

“You have to back up. That’s not the way to do it,” the officer said, according to an account presented in court.

“F— you!”, Beddingfield replied, according to the prosecutor. “You’re on the wrong side.”

Soon, the Nash County man may find he’s on the wrong side — of a federal prison.

On Thursday, Beddingfield accepted a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to a single count of assault on a police officer in a Washington, D.C., courtroom.

The Middlesex resident, 25 miles east of Raleigh, will be sentenced June 22 Until then he was allowed to return to North Carolina

Bedingfield’s offense carries a maximum sentence of eight years in prison.

It’s unclear what prison terms prosecutors offered him for his conviction. Bedingfield’s plea agreement, which would normally include a sentencing range proposed by the government, had not been released by 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

The longest sentence ever handed down to an NC defendant — 44 months — was part of a plea deal offered by former Fort Bragg soldier James Molt, who was also charged with assaulting police.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, appointed by former President Donald Trump, will have the final say and can go above or below what lawyers in the case recommend.

Bedingfield, who was 21 at the time of the riot, is among at least 26 North Carolinians charged federally in connection with the violence.

On January 6, 2021, thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to block Congressional certification of Trump’s defeat to now-President Joe Biden due to the former president’s baseless claims of a stolen election.

Five people were killed and around 140 police officers guarding the building were injured in the mob attack.

About 1,000 arrests have been made, including about 325 accused of assaulting or obstructing police.

Among the NC cases, Bedingfield’s stands out. He was being held on bond on an attempted murder charge in connection with the 2019 shooting of a Smithfield teenager while driving in Washington with his father on Jan. 6.

At the Capitol, prosecutors say, Beddingfield was among the first rioters to storm police lines, and was caught on camera giving a Nazi salute while carrying an American flag.

Inside the building, he joined a line of rioters who tried to storm the Senate branch and later entered House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office.

In exchange for his plea Thursday, prosecutors dropped two other felonies — civil disorder and one with a deadly or dangerous weapon remaining on a restricted basis — and several misdemeanors.

Beddingfield joins a list of at least four NC residents who have accepted pleas and are awaiting sentencing in connection with Capitol riot-related crimes.

They are connected:

Carrie’s Aiden Billiards.

The state’s youngest Capitol riot defendant will be sentenced March 17. He pleaded guilty in October to assaulting or obstructing police. Billiard, who was 18 at the time, was seen on video shooting the chemical spray at the officers. He was sentenced to 47-57 months, which would be the longest sentence ever given to an NC defendant.

They are Stottlemyer and Dale “DJ” ShalveyBoth of Conover.

The Catawba County farmers will be sentenced March 29 and could become the first married couple in the state to be sent to prison. Stottlemyer, who pleaded guilty to criminal obstruction, faces 15 to 21 months in prison. Shalvey pleaded guilty to two felonies, including assaulting police, and faces between 41 and 51 months.

Grayson Sherrill of Cherryville.

The 23-year-old Gaston County man faces up to four years in prison when he is sentenced May 1. Sherrill pleaded guilty on February 3 to assaulting a police officer with a metal pole. His family turned him in to the FBI.

Former high point police officer Laura SteeleAn alleged member of the Oath Keepers, a right-wing militia group, is on trial this week in Washington on multiple felony charges.

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