Yellville man pleads guilty to misdemeanor in Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach

Judge plans to sentence Mott in March on single misdemeanor conviction

Jon Thomas Mott
Jon Thomas Mott

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A Yellville man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge in the U.S. Capitol breach of Jan. 6, 2021.

Jon Thomas Mott, 39, pleaded guilty to 40 U.S.C. § 5104(e)(2)(G): parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

Three other charges will be dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth accepted Mott's guilty plea and scheduled his sentencing hearing for March 8.

Mott faces a maximum sentence of six months in prison, five years probation and a $5,000 fine. He has agreed to pay $500 in restitution.

"I don't know what the sentence will be," Lamberth told Mott, saying he would receive a presentencing report and review it before the March hearing.

During Wednesday's plea agreement hearing, which was held via teleconference from federal court in the District of Columbia, Lamberth read from a "statement of offense" that Mott had signed that morning: "Specifically, defendant admits he entered the U.S. Capitol building. He knowingly and willfully paraded, demonstrated or picketed in the Capitol building, and was later forcibly pushed out of the building by law enforcement officers."

The Jan. 6 riot escalated from a "Stop the Steal" rally in Washington, D.C., when some supporters of then-President Donald Trump entered the U.S. Capitol and attempted to stop Congress from certifying the Electoral College vote indicating that Joe Biden had won the presidential election.

Mott attended the rally, then joined the crowd that entered the U.S. Capitol, according to the statement of offense.

"While inside the Rotunda area, Mott joined other protesters who were yelling at law enforcement officers who were attempting to stop persons from entering into other chambers in the U.S. Capitol building," according to the document. "Mott also participated in chants while inside the Rotunda. At approximately 3:13 p.m., law enforcement forcibly pushed Mott out of the Rotunda to the outside area of the U.S. Capitol building."

According to a "statement of facts" filed in the case in May 2021, "At approximately 3:01 p.m., Mott has an interaction with an [Metropolitan Police Department] officer, who is utilizing his baton in an attempt to restrict the rioters from moving through the exit. Mott can be heard telling the MPD officer, 'don't touch me,' and 'if you don't touch me, I won't touch you,' and then pushing against the MPD officer's baton."

The three charges being dismissed as part of Mott's plea agreement are 18 U.S.C. § 1752(a)(1), entering and remaining in a restricted building; 18 U.S.C. § 1752(a)(2), disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building; and 40 U.S.C. § 5104(e)(2)(D), violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building.

All three charges are misdemeanors. A misdemeanor is typically a crime punishable by less than one year in jail, according to the Legal Information Institute at the Cornell Law School.

Mott was arrested after FBI agents recognized a "distinctive tattoo" on the ring finger of his left hand while he was working at The Bean Barn, a coffee shop in Flippin. The same tattoo was visible in a video from the Capitol riot, according to the criminal complaint.

In a subsequent court hearing, Mott told a judge that he's self-employed as the owner and operator of a drive-thru coffee shop.

Mott has remained free since his initial arrest on May 13, 2021.

In September, at Mott's request, Lamberth modified his bond conditions so Mott could use his guns for "subsistence hunting." One condition of Mott's release pending trial was that he not possess any firearms or dangerous weapons.

Robert Thomas Snow of Heber Springs, who turned 79 on Wednesday, pleaded guilty to the same charge as Mott in connection with the Jan. 6 breach. Snow also reached a plea agreement with prosecutors.

U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly in the District of Columbia sentenced Snow to one year of probation and 60 hours of community service, which he apparently served with the Cleburne County Road Department. Kelly didn't sentence Snow to confinement.

Two Arkansans are charged with felony crimes in the Jan. 6 riot. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Richard "Bigo" Barnett, 62, of Gravette, faces seven charges. Among other things, he's accused of carrying a stun gun into the Capitol and disrupting a Congressional proceeding. His trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 9.

Peter Francis Stager, 43, of Conway, is accused of using a flag pole to beat a police officer who was face down on the steps of the Capitol. Stager remains in the District of Columbia jail. He is the only Jan. 6 defendant from Arkansas still incarcerated.

Stager is scheduled for a status conference on Dec. 20. In a court filing, his attorney said the parties are intending to proceed with a stipulated bench trial.

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