A man who threatened to shoot House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the head on live television in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol pleaded guilty Friday to a felony.
Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr. drove from Colorado to Washington, DC, to take part in the Jan. 6 rallies protesting the results of the presidential election, but arrived after they turned violent as supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building, attacking police and searching the halls for elected officials.
Five people died in the attack.
Officials said Meredith arrived hauling a trailer, a rifle, a Glock 9mm handgun, 10 large-capacity magazines, and more than 2,500 rounds of ammunition.
According to a federal indictment, Meredith told a relative that he had headed to DC with "a shit ton" of armor-piercing ammo. Then, the day after the Capitol attack, he texted a family member that he was "thinking about heading over to Pelosi CUNT's speech and putting a bullet in her noggin on Live TV."
On Friday, Meredith pleaded guilty to a felony count of making the threat against the House Speaker, opening him up to a sentence of up to five years in prison.
During the hearing, the Atlanta native told Judge Amy Berman Jackson he was of sound mind while agreeing to a plea agreement with prosecutors. Meredith answered a list of questions to show he understood the terms of the agreement, eliciting only a brief objection from his attorney Paul Kiyonaga after Meredith said he had seen a psychologist in the past and the judge asked why.
Kiyonaga would later object a second time when Jackson asked Meredith if he agreed that he had threatened to kill Pelosi in his text message. The defense attorney argued the text message had threatened to put "a bullet in her noggin."
Federal officials became aware of Meredith when his mother contacted the FBI about the threats he had made.
Meredith's criminal history is not expected to have an impact on how much time he must serve, Jackson said, but it could be affected by a presentencing report's assessment on whether he appeared to be able to carry out the threat against Pelosi.
In that case, Jackson pointed out, Meredith could see a sentencing enhancement that could put his possible sentence at 18 to 24 months. If the enhancement is not applied, he could see a recommended sentence of 6 to 12 months. The judge can, however, impose a maximum sentence of up to 5 years.
A sentencing hearing was scheduled for Dec. 14.
So far, more than 50 people involved with the Capitol riot have agreed to plea deals with federal prosecutors.