Matthew Perna, 37, was prosecuted for his 20-minute walk through the US Capitol
Matthew L. Perna, a Pennsylvania man prosecuted for his 20-minute walk through the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, took his own life on Feb. 25 due to “a broken heart” and a justice system that “killed his spirit and his zest for life,” his family said.
Perna, 37, of Sharpsville, was due to be sentenced on April 1 in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., in a plea agreement on charges of obstruction of an official proceeding, aiding and abetting, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building. One charge is a felony and the others are misdemeanors.
Perna learned that prosecutors would seek an even longer jail sentence based on “domestic terrorism deterrence,” Julie Kelly of American Greatness wrote on Twitter on Sunday night.
“His community (which he loved), his country, and the justice system killed his spirit and his zest for life,” his online obituary reads.
“He didn’t break, touch, or steal anything. He did not harm anyone, as he stayed within the velvet ropes taking pictures,” the obituary said. “For this act, he has been persecuted by many members of his community, friends, relatives, and people who had never met him.
‘His Spirit Died’
“The constant delays in hearings and postponements dragged out for over a year,” the obituary said. “Because of this, Matt’s heart broke and his spirit died, and many people are responsible for the pain he endured.
Read More: Jan. 6 Defendant Takes His Own Life, Died of ‘Broken Heart,’ Family Says