January 6 Accused Dies by Suicide While Awaiting Sentencing

January 6 Accused Dies by Suicide While Awaiting Sentencing
Police and protesters outside the U.S. Capitol's Rotunda in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)

A man from Lycoming County awaiting his sentencing for illegally entering the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 breach died on July 20.

Mark R. Aungst, 47, of South Williamsport, was declared to have committed suicide by Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr., according to PennLive. A gas field well service technician by trade, Aungst is survived by his mother, a daughter, and three siblings.

On Jan. 6, 2021, Aungst traveled by bus to Washington to attend former President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally. He and a companion, co-defendant Tammy A. Bronsburg joined other people in the march to the Capitol.

In court, the prosecution presented evidence of Aungst and Bronsburg entering the Capitol around 2:45 p.m. and leaving 30 seconds later. After 23 minutes, the duo once more entered the building, taking images and videos on their cell phones as they walked around the place and entered Senate Room 145. Bronsburg then posted a video she took while inside the Capitol on her Facebook account.

The duo were charged with four counts, including a misdemeanor charge for parading or demonstrating inside a restricted building, disorderly conduct in a restricted building, entering and remaining in a restricted building, and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building.

The last three counts were to be dismissed at the time of sentencing. For the misdemeanor charge, Aungst and Bronsburg pleaded guilty. Aungst’s sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 27. If found guilty, he could have faced six months in prison and $5,000 in fines.

The duo were both living free on personal recognizance. Neither Aungst nor Bronsburg had attacked any police officer while inside the Capitol.

January 6 Prisoners

By late June, around 840 individuals were arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 incident. Over 300 had pleaded guilty, with 80 receiving jail time. Many of those charged with crimes are still languishing in prisons.

At a press conference on June 15, a group of Republican lawmakers blasted the way Jan. 6 prisoners were being treated, terming it the “D.C. gulag.” They reported cases of prisoners being mistreated.

The Jan. 6 defendants are being “used as pawns to dangle in front of [Americans] to show that if you cross a certain line, if you support a certain president—as in President Donald Trump—or if you dare to speak up against the government or … against an election being stolen, you’re going to be used,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said during her speech.

In an interview with The Epoch Times, Joseph McBride, an attorney for multiple Jan. 6 prisoners and defendants, blamed the government for “manipulating evidence.” A pre-trial detainee is not supposed to be punished as the person is considered innocent until proven guilty.

However, McBride revealed that his clients and others like them have been locked away in cells for months at a time, brutally assaulted, denied medical care, and have had their human rights violated.

Patricia Tolson contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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