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St. Charles County man pleads guilty to participating in Jan. 6 riot

Paul Westover was quickly identified in a viral video by St. Louis social media users who noticed the hat he was wearing.

WASHINGTON — An eastern Missouri man pleaded guilty Monday to participating in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Paul S. Westover, 53, of Lake St. Louis, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. In exchange for his plea, one felony charge and three other misdemeanors were dismissed, The Kansas City Star reported.

Note: The video above first aired in February 2021.

He was originally charged with obstructing, impeding or interfering with law enforcement officer (aiding and abetting); knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct which impedes the conduct of government business; and disruptive conduct in the Capitol buildings.

Federal prosecutors alleged Westover entered the Senate wing of the Capitol, including an area of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, during the insurrection. He was in the building for about 35 minutes.

Westover's Lake St. Louis home was the scene of an FBI investigation back in February. He was quickly identified in a viral video from inside the Capitol by St. Louis social media users who first noticed the Blues hat he wore while holding up part of the broken signage from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office.

Westover will be sentenced Feb. 16. He faces a maximum penalty of six months in prison, a $5,000 fine and five years' probation. He also must pay $500 in restitution for damage to the Capitol building,

Seventeen Missouri residents have been charged with participating in the riot, and five have now pleaded guilty.

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