- William Merry Jr. has been charged for his role in the Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021.
- His niece, Emily Hernandez, was charged on January 15, 2021.
- Both Merry and Hernandez were spotted in a viral clip of them holding Pelosi’s broken nameplate.
William Merry Jr. was identified after federal authorities became aware of a video in which both he and his niece, Emily Hernandez, could be seen holding a broken piece of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s nameplate, reported NBC News.
A federal complaint against Merry Jr. was unsealed on Thursday.
Merry is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building, disorderly conduct, disruptive conduct in the Capitol buildings, impeding the conduct of government, and theft of government property, according to The Hill.
In the video, part of an ITV News broadcast on the insurrection, Merry and Hernandez could be seen wearing a “Trump 2020” hat and holding a part of the nameplate.
At least three people contacted the FBI with Hernandez’s identity after watching the clip, including a childhood friend, the Daily Beast reported.
This resulted in her being charged on January 15.
A charging document for Merry, seen by AP, also states that several tipsters provided the FBI with information that resulted in his arrest.
Merry was taken into custody on Thursday after police searched his home, reported AP.
His lawyer, Ethan Corlija, told the news agency: “He’s not the type of individual who believes in any violence or any conduct that would harm anybody, so it’s a little atypical for him.”
He continued: “He believes he had a right to attend a rally and voice his political beliefs like we all do, but he does not in any way shape or form condone any type of violence or property destruction or any type of insurrection of the government.”