Insurrectionist hotbed North Carolina under the microscope for 'growing role' in the Jan. 6 MAGA riot
Capitol Insurrectionists (Shutterstock)

The U.S. Capitol riots that took place on Jan. 6 resulted in five deaths and over 140 police officers injured. The Capitol ransacking, which was ignited by groundless claims of voter fraud, left more than $1.5 million in damage, The Charlotte Observer reported, with a caveat: many of the insurrectionists stemmed from the Tar Heel State.

Below is a rundown of known pending cases from North Carolina directly related to the Jan. 6 riots.

Brad Bennett, a former Mecklenburg County resident, is charged with six crimes. The wellness coach and survivalist trainer faces prison if convicted.

Aiden Bilyard of Cary was the 19-year-old who shot chemical “bear spray” at a line of police officers and later used a baseball bat to break out a Capitol window, which he and scores of other rioters used as a portal to the Senate side of the building.

Lewis Cantwell of Sylva is charged with six crimes and, according to court records, appears to have backed off from entering a guilty plea.

Charles Donohoe of Kernersville is an alleged member of the Proud Boys who federal prosecutors say helped plan and direct the group’s activities during the mob attack at the U.S. Capitol.

Grayson Sherrill of Cherryville is accused of several acts of violence inside the U.S. Capitol, including assaulting a police officer with a metal pole.

Chris Spencer and his wife Virginia Spencer of Pilot Mountain are the only so-far known husband-wife team from the insurrection. The female Spencer has pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor charge and is to be sentenced Jan. 7. Her husband has pleaded not guilty.

The Spencers reportedly brought one of their children, a 14-year-old, to the riot and were in one of the first waves that stormed the building, briefly entered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office suite, and joined another mob that massed outside the House chamber when the representatives were still trapped inside.

Laura Steele of Thomasville is a former police officer accused of being part of a multi-state conspiracy by the Oath Keepers to storm the Capitol. Steele is scheduled to be tried in January 2022 after she was recruited to join a Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers by her brother, Graydon Young. He has pleaded guilty to a series of riot-related charges.

Matthew Wood of Reidsville originally told the FBI that he entered the Capitol only to avoid being trampled, but was caught on camera urging the mob to attack police.

Two other Charlotte-area Capitol defendants are weighing plea deals from their prosecutors, according to The State Newspaper.

As the nation approaches the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 riots, more than 725 have been charged, including 14 North Carolinians. Slightly more than 50 defendants have been sentenced, CNN reported.