AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) — An Auburn, Alabama man was convicted on charges stemming from his actions in the U.S. Capitol Riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
William Watson, 25, was found guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding, as well as entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a dangerous weapon.
At the time of the incident, Watson was out on bond for prior drug charges.
According to the Department of Justice, Watson was part of the mob group that stormed the capitol steps on Jan. 6, 2021.
Using a pocket knife, Watson tore down cloth around the inauguration’s scaffolding to help the mob move further up the steps.
Watson entered the building through a window he helped break at around 2:13 p.m., making him among one of the first to enter.
Once inside, Watson went to the Ohio Clock Corridor near the Senate Chambers where he encountered law enforcement.
Watson was eventually escorted out of the building by officers.
Later on, Watson posted a photo of himself and others in the Ohio Clock Corridor on his Snapchat story. Part of the caption read “The fake news won’t win against the thousands of patriots recorded today.”
On May 4, 2021, Watson was arrested at his home. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for the obstruction charge, along with a maximum of 10 years for entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a dangerous weapon.
These charges may carry financial penalties. Watson is to be sentenced on March 9, 2023.
Previously, Watson was arrested in Auburn on July 2, 2020, for drug-related charges including trafficking in marijuana and LSD and drug possession. He was released on a $103,000 bond that was later revoked.
“In the 22 months since Jan. 6, 2021, nearly 900 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 275 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.”
– Department of Justice
This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Mobile Field Office and its Auburn Resident Agency, as well as the FBI’s Washington Field Office that identified Watson as 22nd on its “seeking information” photos. Assistance was also provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.