Aiden Bilyard Wiki
Aiden Bilyard Biography
North Carolina’s youngest defendant in the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 could receive the longest sentence ever handed down for a state resident.
Aiden Bilyard, 20, is charged with nine felonies, including five felonies, related to the riots intended to block the January 6, 2021 congressional hearing to certify former President Donald Trump’s electoral loss to Joe Biden.
Arrested and Charged
On Tuesday, the Cary resident is expected to change his plea from not guilty to guilty during a noon remote hearing before US Superior District Judge Reggie Walton of Washington, D.C. What Bilyard will plead guilty to, however, remains a mystery.
On January 6, the then-18-year-old was seen on video and in photos firing an orange chemical sprayer, identified in a Friday court filing by prosecutors as “home defense pepper spray,” at a row of policemen defending the Capitol.
On Aug. 5, 2021, when Bilyard was in basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, he told the FBI during an interview that he only engaged in “lawful activities” on Capitol Hill, according to an affidavit from the bureau. . After an agent showed him videos revealing his actual behavior, Bilyard ended the interview. “I think this is where I say goodbye,” Bilyard said, according to the affidavit. The Wake County resident was arrested on Nov. 23, 2021.
His January indictment charged him with multiple counts of violence involving “a deadly and dangerous weapon.” Get unlimited digital access Subscribe now for only $2 for 2 months. OFFER OF CLAIM In June, prosecutors offered to drop eight counts included in his indictment if Bilyard pleaded guilty to one count of assault, resisting and impeding officers with a deadly and dangerous weapon. Under the agreement, Bilyard faced an estimated sentence range of 46 to 57 months.
But according to a Friday filing from the US Attorney’s Office in Washington, Bilyard notified the courts on Sept. 6 that he intended to plead guilty to all nine counts in the indictment. Estimated sentence range: 57 to 71 months. It remains unclear why Bilyard would plead “straight” to the indictment, and face an additional year on his possible sentence. Biyard did not respond to a Monday email from The Charlotte Observer seeking comment.
Neither did one of his attorneys, Jamie Vavonese of Raleigh. A spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office in Washington also declined to comment on Friday, referring the Observer to that day’s filing by federal prosecutors. Walton, a George W. Bush appointee to the D.C. federal courts, will have the final say on Bilyard’s sentence.
He can go above or below the guidelines or what prosecutors recommend. Legal experts contacted by the Observer said Bilyard and his lawyers may have rejected the plea deal for a number of reasons: from hoping for a lighter sentence from the judge to resisting a common government demand for Bilyard’s cooperation against other defendants. on January 6 to preserve your right to appeal. At least 24 North Carolinians have been charged in connection with the riots, which led to five deaths and 140 police injuries. Nearly $1.5 million in damage to the Capitol occurred.
So far, the longest sentence handed down to a North Carolina defendant is 44 months. He will be served by James Mault, a former Fort Bragg soldier who, as Bilyard is expected to do, has pleaded guilty to firing a chemical spray at police. Two other North Carolinians, James Bertino of Belmont and William Todd Wilson of Newton Grove, have already pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing to the historically rare felony of seditious conspiracy, the most serious charge ever brought in the 6 January that has led to nearly 900 arrests. Bertino, leader of the right-wing militia group known as the Proud Boys, faces up to five years in prison.
He is accused of helping plan his group’s assault on Capitol Hill and has agreed to testify against other members if the government demands it. In exchange for his cooperation, prosecutors said.