Desoto County News

Olive Branch man guilty on charges connected to Capitol breach

Bledsoe entered Capitol through a fire door and was inside for 22 minutes

An Olive Branch man was found guilty Thursday by a jury in the District of Columbia of felony and misdemeanor offenses for his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

Matthew Bledsoe, age 38 of Olive Branch, was found guilty of the felony offense of obstruction of an official proceeding, and four misdemeanor offenses, including entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a Capitol Building; disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol Building. According to the government’s evidence, Bledsoe headed into the Capitol and illegally entered the Capitol grounds. He moved to the Capitol Building itself, scaled a wall at the Upper Northwest Terrace and entered through a fire door at the Senate Wing.

Bledsoe climbed a statue and was outside the corridor to the House Chamber and hallways near the Speaker’s Lobby. He left the building after approximately 22 minutes inside.

Within two hours, however, Bledsoe returned, lingering outside the East Rotunda Doors as law enforcement officers worked to secure the building and grounds.

In the days following the riot, Bledsoe continued to message with friends and family and post on social media regarding what happened on Jan. 6.

Bledsoe was arrested on Jan. 13, 2021. He is to be sentenced on Oct. 21. 

The felony obstruction charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and potential financial penalties. The four misdemeanor offenses carry a combined statutory maximum of three years of incarceration and potential financial penalties. The Court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

In the 18 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 850 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 260 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.

The complete news release is found on the Department of Justice website.

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