Cousins guilty on felony charges connected with Capitol breach
Two cousins were found guilty in the District of Columbia of felony and misdemeanor charges for their actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. Their 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.
Thomas Harlen Smith, 44, of Mathiston, Mississippi, was found guilty of 11 charges, including nine felony counts and two misdemeanors, following a jury trial before U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, who scheduled sentencing for August 17, 2023. Smith was convicted of assaulting officers with a dangerous weapon; obstruction of an official proceeding; two counts of civil disorder; two counts of assaulting, impeding, or resisting officers; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; and engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a dangerous weapon. He was also convicted of two misdemeanors: disorderly conduct in the Capitol grounds or buildings and an act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings.
Donnie Duane Wren, 44, of Athens, Alabama, was found guilty of three charges, including two felony counts and one misdemeanor. His sentencing is also set for August 17, 2023, before U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton. Wren was convicted of assaulting, impeding, or resisting officers; civil disorder; and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds.
According to evidence presented in court, Smith and Wren traveled from Mississippi and Alabama to D.C. to attend former President Trump’s rally. After reaching the Capitol grounds, Smith entered the Tunnel, attempted to break a window with his flagpole, and pushed into the Capitol. Later, on the Upper West Terrace, Smith and Wren pushed against a police line –holding them back for twenty seconds. Smith then kicked an officer to the ground and threw a metal pole — hitting an officer in the head. After he left Capitol grounds, Smith messaged on Facebook, “we stormed the capitol.”
Smith’s most serious assault charge and the obstruction charge each carry a statutory maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Wren’s assault charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of up to 8 years in prison. A federal court judge will determine the appropriate sentence after considering all factors and the U.S. Sentencing guidelines.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Northern District of Mississippi, the Northern District of Alabama, and the Southern District of Florida.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington and Birmingham Field Offices and the Homestead Florida and Oxford Mississippi Resident Agencies which listed Wren as #219 on their seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Prince George’s County Police Department.
In the 28 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,000 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 320 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.