Capitol riot plea agreement hearing set for woman who attended University of Kentucky

·3 min read

A plea agreement hearing is set next month for a woman —then a University of Kentucky student — accused of taking a “Members Only” sign near the Senate chambers as she accompanied supporters of former President Donald Trump in storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The hearing for Gracyn Dawn Courtright of Hurricane is scheduled for July 20 in federal court in Washington, D.C., according to court documents. The notice of the hearing was made last week. Courtright remains free on personal recognizance bond.

Courtright is charged with theft of government property under $1,000 and four counts involving her conduct in a Capitol and restricted building.

“We’re anticipating that a plea offer will be made and accepted by that date,” Thomas Abbenante, Courtright’s attorney, said Monday.

Courtright at the time of her arrest was a senior at the University of Kentucky, according to court records. According to the university, she was majoring in mathematical economics. Before the riot, she was expected to graduate in May.

UK officials said on Feb. 24 they couldn’t provide any records for Courtright despite previously confirming she attended UK.

Courtright’s attorney on Monday declined to comment on her enrollment status or whether or not she graduated from UK this semester.

She faced scrutiny on social media after it was discovered that she attended the event, and a petition calling for her expulsion from UK was signed more than 3,000 times.

“The actions by Gracyn Courtright on that day damage the democratic values that the University of Kentucky and United States stands for, “ wrote UK student Branden Gobeli on the petition he started.

Eight people have pleaded guilty in federal court to riot-related offenses. Courtright is one of at least four others who apparently have agreed to plead guilty, according to court records.

According to an FBI affidavit in support of the criminal complaint and arrest warrant, a witness saw a video of Courtright in the halls of the Capitol and messaged her on Instagram asking if she was there. The witness provided a screenshot of the messages to the FBI.

Courtright admitted she went in, prompting the witness to express embarrassment, according to the FBI.

Courtright allegedly said, “I’m not embarrassed so you shouldn’t be,” bragged that the event was making “history” and said she thought “it was cool.”

When the witness accused her of treason, Courtright said she did not know what treason was, according to the affidavit. Before Courtright deleted her Instagram account, she wrote, “Infamy is just as good as fame. Either way I end up more known. XOXO.”

According to the affidavit, in two Instagram photos in which she is raising her arms in the air, Courtright wrote, “can’t wait to tell my grandkids I was here!”

The affidavit said photos of a woman seen at the Capitol on Jan. 6 were similar to the physical features of Courtright’s driver’s license and her Instagram account. The FBI said she was wearing a black coat and a hat with a yellow band at the Capitol.

A woman whose clothes and physical features matched those of Courtright was seen on a video near the Senate chamber carrying a “Members Only” sign before a law enforcement officer confiscated it. A newspaper photo also appeared to place Courtright in a crowd that initially clashed with police in the halls of the Capitol, the FBI said.

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