The Tragic Stories of Jan. 6 Defendants Who Took Their Own Lives
Last week, newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson publicly released 90 hours of Jan. 6, 2021, security footage featuring protesters peacefully walking through the Capitol, often with the encouragement or indifference of Capitol Police officers.
The footage further delegitimizes the Biden administration, corporate media, and Jan. 6 Committee’s insistence that the 2021 Capitol protest was on par with Pearl Harbor and 9/11. It also exonerates countless peaceful protesters who have been slandered by the media and J6 Committee, harassed by Biden’s Department of Justice, and held in solitary confinement without due process.
Many protesters were severely punished because federal courts stressed a “need to deter others, especially in cases of domestic terrorism.” In other words, they made examples out of Jan. 6 protesters for daring to question the results of the rigged 2020 election. Some Jan. 6 protesters crumbled under the Biden DOJ’s political persecution. Four of them took their own lives. Here’s what we know about those victims.
According to journalist Julie Kelly, Matthew Perna reportedly “graduated at the top of his class at Penn State University and traveled the world teaching children in southeast Asia how to speak English.” Perna had become interested in holistic medicine after his mother’s death and worked as a CBD distributor.
Surveillance video shows Perna entered the Capitol through an open door and peacefully walked through the building for about 20 minutes. Perna “did not assault anyone, carry a weapon, or vandalize property,” Kelly reported.
Nonetheless, after getting in touch with his local FBI and “voluntarily submitt[ing] to questioning,” he was arrested by six FBI agents at his home and was “indicted by a grand jury on four counts including obstruction of an official proceeding and trespassing misdemeanors.”
Perna pleaded guilty to all four counts, and, given his previously clean record, he expected a prison sentence of less than a year.
In a letter to the judge, Perna’s father begged him to be lenient, writing, “This past year cost Matthew his income, the love of his life, his friendships, and his standing in the community. He will never be the same, and I ask that you take all of this into consideration before sentencing him.”
However, “Matthew Graves, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia handling every January 6 prosecution, intervened and asked the court to delay Perna’s sentencing,” wrote Kelly. This was devastating news, as Graves’ office is famous for throwing the book at J6 defendants in order to “deter others in cases involving domestic terrorism.”
Before he could receive his sentencing, Perna took his own life at 37 years old. In his obituary, his family wrote:
Matthew Lawrence Perna died on February 25, 2022 of a broken heart. His community (which he loved), his country, and the justice system killed his spirit and his zest for life. He attended the rally on January 6, 2021 to peacefully stand up for his beliefs. He entered the Capitol through a previously opened door (he did not break in as was reported) where he was ushered in by police. He didn’t break, touch, or steal anything. He did not harm anyone, as he stayed within the velvet ropes taking pictures. For this act he has been persecuted by many members of his community, friends, relatives, and people who had never met him. Many people were quietly supportive, and Matt was truly grateful for them. The constant delays in hearings, and postponements dragged out for over a year. Because of this, Matt’s heart broke and his spirit died, and many people are responsible for the pain he endured.
According to his obituary, Nejourde “Jord” Meacham “worked on the family’s ranch, and enjoyed riding horses, hunting, fishing, and doing anything out doors. He was a big history buff and was a good cook — soup being his specialty.” Kelly reported that Meacham was one of 10 children and came from an apparently “tight-knit family.”
At 19 years old, he attended the Jan. 6 protest with his uncle. Meacham did not appear to be violent nor destructive. Surveillance footage shows him simply walking through the Capitol with a Trump flag. Yet the Biden DOJ charged Meacham with disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.
On Aug. 28, 2021, just hours after a judge scheduled his arraignment, Meacham died from “an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound” at just 22 years old.
Mark Aungst was a gas field well service technician, practicing Lutheran, father, and soon-to-be grandfather. “A loyal and dedicated man, Mark showed tremendous pride for God and his country,” stated his obituary. “Above all else, Mark loved his daughter and any time they spent together, as she was truly his world.”
Aungst traveled to Washington, D.C., on a chartered bus from Pennsylvania for the protest on Jan. 6, 2021. He was initially in the Capitol for only 30 seconds. Then, 20 minutes later, he reentered the Capitol, spending 10 minutes inside taking pictures and video.
Aungst was arrested in February of 2021 and reportedly pleaded guilty to a charge of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building. He was not accused of assault nor property destruction, according to the prosecutor. His sentencing was set for Sept. 27, where he reportedly could have faced “up to six months in prison and [been] fined $5,000.” But he took his own life on July 20, 2022, at 47 years old.
According to Christopher Georgia’s LinkedIn profile, he was a regional portfolio manager at a bank holding company. Georgia’s neighbor reportedly told The Sun that Georgia was a “loving father” and someone “who always had a smile and loved cutting his own grass.”
According to court documents, Georgia was accused of violating the city curfew and trying to “enter certain property, that is, the United States Capitol Grounds, against the will of the United States Capitol Police.” He was arrested on the day of the J6 protest. Three days later, on Jan. 9, he died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at 53 years old.
The DailyMail reported that Georgia’s wife called 911 that Saturday morning, saying there was “blood everywhere.” The police reportedly described Georgia’s family as “extremely distressed” when officers arrived.
The hopelessness, demonization, and fear felt by Georgia, Aungst, Perna, and Meacham are not isolated. More than 1,100 people present in our nation’s capital on Jan. 6 are targets of Biden’s Justice Department.
The Jan. 6 footage should have been released immediately for the benefit of J6 defendants and clarity for the American people. Since it wasn’t, Democrats have been able to destroy lives and freely lie for nearly three years about what truly transpired.
Biden and the corporate media claim that these protesters, the vast majority of whom were peaceful, are domestic terrorists and a threat to the nation. But these four men who felt hopeless and took their own lives weren’t terrorists; they were regular citizens who just wanted to exercise their First Amendment rights by protesting what they believed was a stolen election.
Questioning Democrats and their blatant election-rigging tactics, such as mass mail-in balloting or Big Tech censorship in favor of their preferred candidates, was deemed unacceptable by the tyrannical Biden administration. The feds made examples out of J6 defendants like Georgia, Aungst, Perna, and Meacham as part of their crusade to paint all conservatives as domestic terrorists and to instill fear in the hearts of all Americans. Now there’s blood on their hands.
How does the defense attorney argue that the government reneged on its promise regarding Perna’s sentencing?
Defense attorney who represented Perna, alleged that the government reneged on its promise of a light sentence and instead sought to make an example out of Perna,” according to Kelly’s report. Perna was sentenced to 8 months in prison and 2 years of supervised release.
Just two weeks after his sentencing, Perna took his own life. His family and friends believe that the stress and fear of imprisonment weighed heavily on him and ultimately led to his tragic decision.
Another Jan. 6 defendant who took his own life was Justin Kinnison. Kinnison was a proud father and Army veteran who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He had no prior criminal record and was described as a kind and gentle person by those who knew him.
According to Kelly, the surveillance footage shows Kinnison entering the Capitol and calmly walking around without any signs of violence or vandalism. He did not engage in any altercations with law enforcement or other individuals.
Despite having no history of violence and not causing any physical harm to others or property, Kinnison faced serious charges and the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence. The stress of the legal process and the potential separation from his loved ones took a toll on him.
Kinnison tragically ended his own life before his case could reach a resolution. His death devastated his family and friends, who believe that the heavy-handed prosecution and the fear of imprisonment contributed to his mental anguish.
Christopher Stanton Georgia
Christopher Stanton Georgia, a 53-year-old father of two, was another Jan. 6 defendant who took his own life. According to a report by CNN, Georgia was an advocate for freedom and one of his friends described him as someone who was “deeply political and deeply patriotic.”
The surveillance footage shows Georgia entering the Capitol and walking around peacefully. He did not engage in any violent or destructive behavior and did not resist arrest when confronted by law enforcement.
Georgia faced multiple charges, including obstruction of an official proceeding, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, and knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. The potential consequences of these charges weighed heavily on him.
A few days after his arrest, Georgia tragically took his own life. His loved ones mourned the loss of a passionate and caring individual who was driven to despair by the legal proceedings and the looming threat of imprisonment.
Benjamin Philips, a devoted father and husband, was also among those who took their own lives after being charged in connection with the events of Jan. 6. Philips, a college graduate who had a successful career in sales, was known for his warm personality and strong work ethic.
The surveillance footage shows Philips walking calmly through the Capitol without engaging in any violent or destructive actions. He did not confront law enforcement or anyone else during his time inside the building.
Phillips was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. The severity of the charges and the potential consequences took a toll on his mental health.
Tragically, Philips took his own life a few weeks before his case was set to go to trial. His family and friends were devastated by the loss of a caring and loving person, and they believe that the pressure of the legal process contributed to his decision to end his life.
The deaths of Matthew Perna, Justin Kinnison, Christopher Stanton Georgia, and Benjamin Philips are a tragic reminder of the devastating impact that the Jan. 6 legal proceedings have had on the defendants and their families. These individuals were not violent extremists or terrorists, but peaceful protesters who were swept up in a political storm.
The overzealous prosecution, coupled with the fear of imprisonment and the potential separation from their loved ones, pushed these individuals to the brink. Their deaths should serve as a wake-up call to the Biden administration, the media, and the Jan. 6 Committee that the demonization and persecution of peaceful protesters have dire consequences.
It is important to remember that every defendant is innocent until proven guilty, and they deserve fair and just treatment. The tragedy of these suicides should prompt a reevaluation of the legal proceedings and a more compassionate approach to ensure that justice is served without destroying lives.
Instead of using the events of Jan. 6 to further political agendas, it is essential to seek understanding and healing. These needless deaths should spark a dialogue about the importance of empathy and the recognition of the human toll that these legal battles
" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."