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United States of America v. Aiden Bilyard
Case Number: 1:22-cr-00034
Judge: Reggie B. Walton
Court: United States District Court for the District of Columbia (Washington County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Washington
Description: Washington, DC criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with assaulting police with a deadly or dangerous weapon when he sprayed Capitol officers with a “pepper gel.”
On Jan. 6, 2021, at approximately 2:35 p.m., Aiden Bilyard, age 21, was among a crowd of rioters illegally gathered in the Upper West Plaza of the Capitol grounds. He carried a gold-colored canister of “home defense pepper gel.” Bilyard pointed the nozzle of the canister at officers who were attempting to prevent the mob from proceeding further towards the Capitol Building. He then discharged the chemical irritant towards the group of officers. Immediately after he sprayed the irritant, Bilyard and other rioters overwhelmed the police line, causing the officers to retreat through a stairwell to the Lower West Terrace.
Bilyard also went to the Lower West Terrace. At approximately 4:10 p.m., he was in a group of rioters massed in front of a glass window to the Capitol Building. While there, he encouraged an individual who was striking the window with what a metal tomahawk. Bilyard was handed a bat, which he used to shatter the lower glass portion of the window. He then turned to face the crowd and clapped and shouted in an act of encouragement for people to start entering the building. Bilyard also entered the Capitol by crawling through the window that he had shattered.
Bilyard was arrested on Nov. 22, 2021.
This case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Charlotte Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the U.S. Capitol Police.
In the 26 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 999 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 320 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
The Defendant's mother my Bilyard told the judge “that’s not right” as he handed down the sentence, according to Politico reporter Kyle Cheney. Judge Walton’s answer to Ms Bilyard, who was in tears, was: “You make your bed, you’ve got to lie in it.”
“He’s lied in it,” Ms Bilyard reportedly said.
18:111(a)(1) and 111(b) - Assault of a Federal Law Enforcement Officer Using a Dangerous or Deadly Weapon
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 40 months in prison.