The Wednesday death of a Pennsylvania man who pleaded guilty to participating in the J6 riot has been declared a suicide.
Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr. declared suicide as the cause of death for Mark R. Aungst, 47, of South Williamsport, according to a PennLive report. It is unclear how the deceased committed suicide. Chief Deputy Coroner Jerold Ross explained that their office policy forbids releasing information about the cause of suicide.
Aungst was employed as a gas field well service technician and a member of Messiah Lutheran Church, according to his obituary. He is survived by his daughter Megan Aungst, an expected granddaughter, three siblings and his mother, Cheryl Aungst.
Aungst was charged by federal prosecutors with four charges related to entering the Capitol building after former President Donald Trump’s January 6, 2021, “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C.
His charges of “Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building; Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building; Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building; and Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building” were cut to one charge after a plea deal was reached.
In a May 17 letter to Aungst’s attorney, William Welch III, the Justice Department agreed to drop all but the last charge in exchange for his client’s pleading guilty to parading or demonstrating in a Capitol building. The crime carried a maximum sentence of six months in prison followed by up to five years probation and a fine no greater than $5,000.
Aungst accepted the deal and pleaded guilty on June 27, three days before the deadline when the Justice Department threatened to yank the deal off the table.
He and codefendant Tammy Butry (also known as Tammy Bronsburg) took a bus trip to the Washington rally. According to the criminal complaint filed by the feds, they were the last two that returned for the bus, reportedly holding up the return trip for one hour.
Other people on the bus talked during a rest stop visited on the return trip, expressing concern about information and photos the two defendants had shared with other riders. One of the riders then forwarded the information that an intoxicated Aungst “overshared information about being inside the Capitol,” along with photos of him and Butry with law enforcement.
Subsequent searches of social media, particularly Facebook, and closed circuit television feeds from inside the Capitol led to the pair being charged by the Justice Department.
Aungst was scheduled to be sentenced for the misdemeanor charge he pleaded guilty to on September 27, according to a report from The Epoch Times.
UPDATED: The article was updated July 25. RTM removed a sentence in the second paragraph saying the coroner had not immediately responded to our request for comment. That sentence was replaced with the chief deputy coroner’s explanation about why they did not disclose the method of suicide employed by Mr. Aungst.
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