Independent Journalist Stephen Horn Found Guilty of 4 Jan. 6 Misdemeanors

‘I did not enter the Capitol building as part of the protest,’ the North Carolina journalist said.
Independent Journalist Stephen Horn Found Guilty of 4 Jan. 6 Misdemeanors
Journalist Stephen E. Horn of Raleigh, N.C., was found guilty by a federal jury of four misdemeanor crimes for being at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Courtesy of Stephen Horn)
Joseph M. Hanneman
Updated:

A North Carolina independent journalist who released a Jan. 6 documentary just days before his federal trial began was found guilty on Sept. 18 in Washington D.C. of four misdemeanor charges for being inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Stephen Ethan Horn, 25, of Raleigh, was found guilty by a U.S. District Court jury of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

The jury deliberated less than 90 minutes after a three-day trial before U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly.

The judge set sentencing for Jan. 10, 2024.

“My attitude is that if you expect the worst, you'll never be disappointed,” Mr. Horn told The Epoch Times shortly after the verdicts were announced.

Mr. Horn said he was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 to document the events as a journalist, not to protest.

“I told the same truth to the jury that I posted along with my video on January 7th: ‘I did not enter the Capitol building as part of the protest, or for cheap thrills, but to accurately document and record a significant event which was taking place,’” Mr. Horn wrote on X.

Prosecutors said that after entering the Capitol, Mr. Horn stood on a monument while filming the crowds with a cell phone. They also said he could be heard on video chanting, “USA!”

Mr. Horn entered the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), although he said he didn’t go inside the Capitol with the intention of finding her office.

Stephen Horn films the protest from atop a monument inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (U.S. DOJ/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)
Stephen Horn films the protest from atop a monument inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (U.S. DOJ/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)
Less than a week before his trial began, Mr. Horn released a documentary, “79 Minutes: Breach of the Capitol.”

In the introduction to the film, Mr. Horn said he offered the video he shot on Jan. 6 to the FBI “because I witnessed vandalism and multiple assaults against police officers.

“But they decided to arrest me and charge me with four misdemeanor charges,” he said.

Mr. Horn was the latest in a string of Jan. 6 prosecutions of independent journalists.

On Sept. 12, InfoWars host Jonathon Owen Shroyer, 34, of Austin, Texas, was sentenced to 60 days in jail after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds.

In exchange for his plea agreement, prosecutors dropped three other Jan. 6 misdemeanor counts.

On April 5, InfoWars journalist Samuel Christopher Montoya, 38, of San Marcos, Texas, was sentenced to three years of probation with 120 days of home detention after agreeing to plead guilty to one count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building. As part of the plea deal, four other charges were dismissed.

Mr. Montoya filmed the shooting of Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt in the hallway outside of the Speaker’s Lobby at 2:45 p.m. on Jan. 6.

On Jan. 12, independent journalist Shawn Bradley Witzemann, 41, of Farmington, N.M., was sentenced to two years of probation with seven days of intermittent confinement after agreeing to plead guilty to one count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building. As part of his plea deal, three other charges were dismissed.

Joseph M. Hanneman is a former reporter for The Epoch Times who focussed on the January 6 Capitol incursion and its aftermath, as well as general Wisconsin news. In 2022, he helped to produce "The Real Story of Jan. 6," an Epoch Times documentary about the events that day. Joe has been a journalist for nearly 40 years.
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