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Ohio Pastor Found Guilty for Role in Jan. 6 Capitol Insurrection

Small-town pastor is set to be sentenced following criminal charges

An Ohio pastor was found guilty of criminal charges on Monday, January 22, for his connection with the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol three years ago, a D.C. press release says.

William Dunfee, 58, from Frazeysburg, Ohio, was found guilty of two felony charges of obstruction of an official proceeding or aiding and abetting a civil disorder, and a misdemeanor charge of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington.

During the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, Dunfee was seen shouting through a bullhorn to the mob as the situation escalated and destabilized.

“The election has been stolen right out from underneath of our noses and it’s time for the American people to rise up. Rise up. Rise up,” Dunfee called to the restless crowd in a video filmed at the Capitol. “Today is the day…that these elected officials realize that we are no longer playing games.”

Dunfee, a pastor of New Beginnings Ministry Warsaw, in Warsaw, Ohio—a town of less than 1,000 people just northeast of Columbus—posted a video to the ministry’s social media page on Dec. 27, 2020, telling his congregation the government, with its “tyrants and Marxists,” should fear them. “Our problem is we haven’t given them reason to fear us,” Dunfee said in the video.

Video surveillance at the Capitol building reveals that the extremist pastor repeatedly exhorted the crowd to advance further into the Capitol building and pushed a metal barricade against law enforcement officials. Later, Dunfee moved to the front of a crowd of rioters at the East Front entrance to the Capitol before the mass of people breached the building. Dunfee is seen in three separate photos to be physically resisting U.S. Capitol Police and entering restricted areas, based on court documents.

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Later in the video Dunfee announced: “Mister police officers, we want you to understand something…We want Donald Trump and if Donald Trump is not coming, we are taking our house. We are taking our house.”

Dunfee is scheduled to be sentenced on May 24, 2024, following his arrest in October 2022 and recent conviction following a bench trial in the District of Columbia. He joins more than 1,200 people in almost all 50 states to have been charged for seizing the Capitol to prevent the election of Joe Biden from being certified by Congress.

Main photo: Protesters close in on the U.S. Capitol,  Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo via RNS/Andrew Harnik)

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