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Texas family of 5 sentenced in Jan. 6 case

Texas family sentenced in Jan. 6 case
5 members of Texas family sentenced in Jan. 6 case 02:19

Five members of a Texas family were sentenced Wednesday for their roles in the assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

District of Columbia Chief District Judge Beryl Howell sentenced Dawn and Thomas Munn to 14-day prison sentences, three months of home confinement and three years of probation for their roles in leading four of their eight children into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Three of their adult children were sentenced to probation, with the oldest child, Kristi, also receiving a brief period of home confinement. 

The Munn family, of Borger, Texas, had pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge, acknowledging they spent nearly an hour inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, including time in a private Senate conference room. Members of the family were accused of bragging about their roles on Jan. 6, or of misrepresenting the size and scope of the attack and damage. And one of the five was accused of blaming police.

During the sentencing Wednesday, Howell called the U.S. Capitol breach a "catastrophic breach" of security and said the Munn family "participated in a mob that stopped the democratic process." The judge suggested that Thomas Munn "should've known better before leading the family into a chaotic situation."

Howell also said some of the family members had made social media posts that "contributed to the misinformation about Jan. 6." She also said the youngest of the family members charged, Kayli, invoked a "bogeyman" by claiming to have seen Antifa at the Capitol on Jan. 6, during her FBI interview.

The family trip to D.C. on Jan. 6 "went so far off the rails, there are five family members standing before a federal judge at sentencing," Howell said.

While asking for leniency at sentencing, Dawn Munn said she continues to have questions about the legitimacy and the "security" of the 2020 election. She said the "country has been divided between conservative and non-conservative values."

Thomas Munn, her husband, told the judge, "I got myself overwhelmed." He added, "I've never been political before. I just kept watching what was happening on the news."  

In individual statements seeking leniency, daughters Kristi and Kayli said their parents raised them "to do right" and acknowledged they shouldn't have entered the Capitol. 

Kayli Munn, 20, told the judge she wishes everyone "would have stopped" outside the Capitol on Jan. 6.   "We had an idea in our heads that we were fighting a monster." Though the judge asked Kayli to whom she was referring by the term "monster," Kayli did not directly answer.

A third child, under the age of 18, was also inside the Capitol with the family.  In court filings ahead of the sentencing hearing, Dawn Munn indicated a federal stimulus check helped pay for the trip.  

Prosecutors alleged that Dawn Munn, a nurse; Thomas, 55, a U.S. Army veteran; son, Joshua, 25, a janitor; and daughters Kristi, 30 and Kayli climbed into the Capitol through broken windows in a Senate wing door. 

The Justice Department alleged that although Kristi Munn had witnessed confrontations with officers, she and her family "continued to roam the Capitol building," where they watched "rioters and officers gathered to the west of the building."

Screenshot showing Kristi Munn in the Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021. Government exhibit
Screenshot showing the Munn family in the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021. Government exhibit

Security camera images released by the Justice Department showed the Munn family amid the mob. Thomas was seen smoking a cigarette while moving through the building. Another photo showed one daughter wearing a camouflage jacket, while another is draped in a Trump banner.  A family photo near the Capitol, with the face of the underage child obscured, was included in court filings from the Justice Department.

The Munn family at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021. Government exhibit

While announcing the sentences, Judge Howell cited a previous Jan. 6 case, in which a defendant received jail time for bringing a child along to the Capitol breach.  

The Munn children were sentenced first, as their mother and father sat in the back rows of the courtroom. The parents were sentenced later, as the children watched from a row near the back.  

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