J6 defendant, who only entered and left the US Capitol, commits suicide ahead of sentencing

A Jan. 6th defendant who’d recently pleaded guilty to entering and demonstrating inside the U.S. Capitol has committed suicide.

Pennsylvania resident Mark R. Aungst, 47, died “unexpectedly” on Wednesday, July 20th, his obituary reads.

According to The Patriot-News, Lycoming County coroner Charles E. Kiessling has ruled the death a suicide.

The reason for the suicide remains unclear, though it may have had something to do with the fact that Aungst was scheduled to be sentenced in September for a charge of demonstrating or parading in a restricted building.

He’d reportedly been facing a maximum of six months behind bars and a fine of up to $5,000.

“Aungst and co-defendant Tammy A. Bronsburg, who pleaded guilty to the same charge, traveled by bus to Washington on Jan. 6, 2021 for President Trump’s ‘Stop the Steal’ rally. They then joined others and marched to the Capitol,” The Patriot-News notes.

“Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Furst said the prosecution had evidence showing Aungst and Bronsburg entering the Capitol through the Senate fire door by the parliamentarian’s office approximately 2:45 p.m. and leaving 30 seconds later. Twenty minutes later they re-entered the building through the Senate wing door, and took photos and videos on their cell phones as they walked through the Capitol and into Senate Room 145.”

According to the DOJ’s complaint against the pair, “While inside the U.S. Capitol Building, the Defendants encountered members of law enforcement. Law enforcement instructed the defendants to leave the building. After leaving the United States Capitol Building through the Senate Wing Door around 3:14 pm, Defendants Aungst and Bronsburg returned to the bus to travel back to Pennsylvania. While on the bus, both Defendants bragged to other passengers that they had been inside the United States Capitol.”

Despite the pair attacking nobody, causing no actual disturbance, and apparently following police orders to a T, they too wound up getting ensnared in the Justice Department’s war against Jan. 6th rioters.

Anger is now brewing over Aungst’s death in part because of the disparity between how he was treated and how comedian Stephen Colbert’s insurrectionist staff members were treated.

As previously reported, they unlawfully entered the U.S. Capitol last month, yet charges against them were ultimately dropped by the Biden administration:

“Tragic. Devastating. Mark R. Aungst plead guilty to essentially the same charge the colbert 9 got away with. Mark’s life ended in his own country in the most lonely, cruel, and politicized torment. Never forget Jan 6 political prisoners. I’m so sorry for your loss  Aungst family,” one Twitter user wrote about the disparity.

There has also been a debate over whether Aungst had been at home at the time of the suicide or in jail. Some have claimed he’d been locked up since the Jan. 6th riot, despite the time between then and now (1.5 years, approximately) being longer than the maximum sentence he’d faced.


But others have said this wasn’t the case:

It’s not clear which is accurate, as neither The Patriot-News nor Aungst’s obituary lists the place of death.

“Mark was a gas field well service technician in the area. He was a member of Messiah Lutheran Church. A loyal and dedicated man, Mark showed tremendous pride for God and his country. Above all else, Mark loved his daughter and any time they spent together, as she was truly his world,” the obituary reads.

“Mark leaves behind his beloved daughter, Megan A. Aungst (Garrett Gleckl) of Newberry and a granddaughter, Aria on the way; siblings, Ami Packer (Ken) of Williamsport, Luther Aungst III (Laurie) of Elmira, and Heidi Lorson (Bern) of Williamsport; his mother, Cheryl Aungst; and a large extended family of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.”


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Vivek Saxena


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