A Washington, D.C., jury has found Thomas Smith of Mathiston, Miss., guilty of nine felonies, including assaulting officers, and two misdemeanor charges for his involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Images of him waving the retired Confederate-themed 1894 Mississippi state flag emerged online after supporters of then-President Donald Trump attacked the Capitol in a bid to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.
Smith and his cousin, Alabama native Donnie Wren, traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend Trump’s Jan. 6 rally, where the defeated president urged supporters to march to the Capitol and told them to “fight like hell” or “you’re not going to have a country anymore.” The jury found Wren guilty of two felonies and one misdemeanor.
The evidence prosecutors presented in court depicted the pair’s day at the Capitol. When the men arrived, Smith traveled through Capitol Hill Tunnel, tried to smash a window using the flagpole and forced entry into the Capitol, the prosecutors said.
The prosecution said Smith and Wren were on the Upper West Terrace later that day, where they shoved through a police line and held officers back for 20 seconds and that Smith kicked down an officer and threw a metal pole that hit another officer’s head.
After the men left the Capitol, Smith made multiple Facebook posts, including posting a photo of him and Wren standing atop a statue waving a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag and the old Mississippi flag with the caption “What a wonderful day and (sic) Washington” on Jan. 8, 2021.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office from the District of Columbia, the jury found Smith, 44, guilty of felonies including “assaulting officers with a dangerous weapon; obstruction of an official proceeding; two counts of civil disorder; two counts of assaulting, impeding, or resisting officers; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; and engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a dangerous weapon.”
The misdemeanor charges were for acts of physical violence and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds or buildings.
Smith’s sentencing is set for August 17, 2023. Both the assault with a dangerous weapon and obstruction charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. His other assault charge comes with a maximum of eight years in prison.
Previously, Smith was an employee of the Oktibbeha County Road Department. He was charged with embezzlement in March 2021 for allegedly hiding fuel containers on the side of the road to siphon gasoline from a county-owned vehicle for his personal use. State Auditor Shad White issued a $627 demand letter upon Smith’s arrest.