UPDATE: This post was updated on Dec. 3 at 2:10 p.m. to include sentencing details that were not available at publication time.

A 70-year-old Myerstown resident will spend 36 months on federal probation, with the first 30 days under house arrest, for his role in a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Terry Brown was sentenced on Dec. 1 by Judge Carl J. Nichols of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

He will also have to pay restitution of $500 for damage done to the Capitol, and perform 60 hours of community service.

While on house arrest, he can only leave his home for work, religious services, legal and medical appointments, and community service.

Brown, who has no prior criminal record, was part of the mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump attempting to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the Nov. 2, 2020, presidential election.

He pled guilty in September to a single charge of “parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol building,” a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison.

Three other charges originally filed against Brown were withdrawn as part of a plea agreement. The additional charges were “violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building,” “disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building,” and “entering and remaining in a restricted building.”

In a sentencing memorandum filed with the court, federal prosecutors said Brown did not directly engage in violent behavior on Jan. 6, but knew that he was trespassing and that the Capitol was under attack, yet refused to leave when ordered. He expressed no remorse after his arrest:

“Brown knowingly went through barriers on the outside of the perimeter that had been knocked down. Tear gas had been deployed. Once he got inside, he saw trash, water, and chairs strewn about. He saw another rioter in military fatigues wielding a baseball bat. He set one chair upright, suggesting he knew it was not right in its current position. Despite all of that, he continued his parading into and around the Capitol. The government knows of no evidence he told other rioters to stop. He was knowingly and willfully where it was against the law for him to be. On January 7, he told a local newspaper [link added to original text], ‘I don’t regret doing what I did.’ On January 11, he told the FBI he felt going into the Capitol was making a statement to get political leaders to listen to the participants.”

Brown filed a sentencing memorandum of his own through his attorney, Terrence McGowan, in which he said that he went to D.C. on Jan. 6 with no intent to go to the Capitol or to participate in violent or destructive behavior.

Instead, McGowan told the court that “after former President Trump instructed his followers to march on the Capitol, Mr. Brown, swept up in the fervor of the moment, began walking towards the Capitol.”

McGowan then described his client’s version of what happened once he arrived at the building:

“When Mr. Brown finally arrived at the Capitol, the barricades were already knocked down and many people were already inside. Mr. Brown was caught up in the moment and made the unfortunate decision to enter the Capitol. Upon entering, he witnessed several people throwing chairs and trash. Mr. Brown did not participate in any violent or destructive behavior while inside the Capitol. In fact, Mr. Brown can be seen in surveillance video picking up the scattered chairs. At some point, Mr. Brown heard the sound of someone asking for help. He proceeded to the lower level of the Visitor’s Center and observed a large group of individuals. He made his way to the front of the crowd to attempt to persuade the crowd to disengage the officers and retreat. Mr. Brown attempted to get the attention of a police officer to ask if he could speak to the crowd. At that moment, Mr. Brown was arrested.”

Brown, who cooperated with the FBI after his arrest, also said in his sentencing memorandum, filed on Nov. 24, that he was “very sorry that he allowed himself to be caught up in the moment, is very remorseful, and certainly would not repeat this conduct were he given a second chance.”

Two more local men face insurrection charges

  • North Cornwall Township police officer Joseph Fischer is facing several criminal charges for his alleged role in the Capitol attack. He has pled not guilty and is on pretrial release. The township has suspended him from duty. No court date is scheduled at present.
  • Palmyra resident Leo Brent Bozell IV is also facing several criminal charges for his alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 riot. He has pled not guilty and is on pretrial release. No court date is scheduled.
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Chris Coyle

Chris Coyle writes primarily on government, the courts, and business. He retired as an attorney at the end of 2018, after concentrating for nearly four decades on civil and criminal litigation and trials. A career highlight was successfully defending a retired Pennsylvania state trooper who was accused,...