WASHINGTON, D.C. (WGHP) – Another Triad man charged with insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, has pleaded guilty.
Matthew Mark Wood of Reidsville on Friday pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Washington on three of six charges he had faced for entering the Capitol with supporters of former President Donald Trump who wished to overthrow the 2020 presidential election.
He admitted in documents created by the Department of Justice that he attempted to obstruct and disrupt the Congressional certification of the Electoral College vote that affirmed Joe Biden as the new president. He also pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in relation to that attempt to disrupt proceedings and entering the Capitol to do so.
Wood had been arrested in March 2021 and charged on six counts: obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; entering and remaining in certain Rooms in the Capitol building; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.
He had pleaded not guilty at his arraignment and been released on his own recognizance.
He will be sentenced on Sept. 23. Most of those who pleaded guilty to charges related to Jan. 6 have been given jail time and in some cases fines and restitution. Wood could face a year or more in prison.
At least 846 people have been arrested and charged related to the insurrection. Nearly 300 of them have pleaded guilty. There are 21 from North Carolina who were charged, and a half-dozen are from the Triad. Some already have been adjudicated, and others await trial.
Court documents describe how Wood drove to Washington to protest on Jan. 6. Before that he had sent messages stating he was ready to “raid Congress” and referred to the movie “Braveheart” as inspiration.
On Jan. 6, the documents said, Wood approached the West Plaza of the Capitol, where he breached the police line, then went under scaffolding and climbed exterior stairs. Wood was the 10th person to pass through what is known as the “Senate Wing Door,” and entered the Capitol at approximately 2:13 p.m.
He followed others up to the second floor, just outside the Senate Chamber before going back down and to the Capitol Crypt, the documents said. Wood could be seen using his phone as rioters filled the area. They eventually breached the police line and climbed the stairs eventually to the House Speaker’s office suite.
He wandered through the halls and chambers, carrying a Trump flag he had found outside, took down velvet ropes and remained in the East Rotunda until, at about 3:31 p.m., he left the building.
The agent from the FBI who handled the case was not identified in the charging documents, but that agent gave this account (in part) of an interview at Wood’s home in January of last year:
“During the interview, Wood admitted that he entered the U.S. Capitol through a broken window and to entering Nancy Pelosi’s conference room, but claimed that he did not intend to march on the Capitol building or disrupt the Electoral College ballot certification. Wood claimed that he was pushed towards the window by the crowd and entered the U.S. Capitol to avoid being trampled.
“In total, Wood estimated that he was inside the U.S. Capitol for approximately 45 minutes and inside Nancy Pelosi’s conference room for two minutes. Wood admitted to taking photos inside the U.S. Capitol on his phone, but deleting them prior to his interview. Similarly, Wood admitted to publishing Facebook posts about his participation, but deleting the posts and de-activing [sic] his account prior to his interview.”