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Mercer County Man Who Pleaded Guilty To Role In Jan. 6 Capitol Riots Dies

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A Mercer County man who pleaded guilty to his role in the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol has died.

matthew perna
(Photo: FBI)

Matthew Perna's family said he died last week of a "broken heart." In his obituary, the family said, "The justice system killed his spirit and his zest for life." There was no cause of death given.

The family said Perna went into the Capitol through an open door, took pictures and did not break anything or hurt anyone.

In December, Perna pleaded guilty to felony obstruction of Congress and three related misdemeanor charges. He was in the Capitol for about 20 minutes, prosecutors said. Afterward, according to court paperwork, Perna posted an eight-minute video to Facebook saying, "It's not over, trust me. The purpose of today was to expose Pence as a traitor."

He was set to be sentenced later this week. He faced up to 20 years in prison.

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