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Government

Kentucky College Student From W.Va. Charged For Role In Capitol Insurrection

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U.S. Department of Justice
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Updated Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 at 2:55 p.m.

A second person from West Virginia has been charged for taking part in the Jan. 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.

Court records show Gracyn Courtright — who is from Hurricane, West Virginia but attends the University of Kentucky in Lexington — was charged over the weekend with four misdemeanors in connection with the riots on the capitol grounds. The 23-year-old has been charged with entering a restricted building, disruptive conduct in a restricted building, disorderly conduct and theft of government property under $1,000.

According to court records filed on Jan. 16, investigators cited a Jan. 10 article from The Kentucky Kernel, a student newspaper at the University of Kentucky.

FBI officials say they reviewed surveillance video of the Capitol on Jan. 6, as well as Instagram and Twitter accounts linked to Courtright. Those accounts have since been deleted, though not before investigators were able to collect various screenshots of posts that link Courtright to the events.

Images collected showed Courtright inside the capitol building and at one point carrying a sign that read “Members Only.” Investigators also cited an Instagram post that shows the suspect with the quote: “Infamy is just as good as fame. Either way I end up more known. XOXO.”

The FBI was also provided direct messages on Instagram between Courtright and one of her followers, according to court records. In the exchange, the other person asked Courtright if she was involved in the events on Jan. 6. Courtright responded that she walked into “the chamber like the senate where the desks are,” adding that “it’s history [I don’t care],” and “I thought it was cool.”

Last week, FBI agents contacted Courtright’s father at his home where she has been staying.

According to court records, Courtright’s father acknowledged her participation in the events at the U.S. Capitol. When investigators showed up at her father’s house on Jan. 14, her father indicated that he did not feel comfortable allowing his daughter to give a statement unless she was notified she would not get in trouble for her actions.

However, he told the FBI that his daughter traveled to Washington, D.C., to be at “the party” and stayed with friends from high school who live in the D.C. area. After giving investigators a run-down of her participation in the events, he told them she would cooperate if she was charged with a crime.

Last week, 35-year-old Derrick Evans of Wayne County was charged and arrested for his role in the insurrection. Evans, who had won his first term in the West Virginia House of Delegates as a Republicam, live-streamed his involvement in the Jan. 6 events on a since-deleted Facebook page.

Evans was charged, taken into custody on Jan. 8 and then released on a personal recognizance bond. Following pressure from lawmakers of both parties, he resigned from the House before serving.


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