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After Judge Warns Him About Jail Time Over Jan. 6, PA Grandfather Takes Own Life

On the day of the Capitol incursion, Mark Aungst of South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, strolled through the Capitol building, taking pictures. Now, a few weeks after pleading guilty to the charges filed against him for his actions that day and being warned of possible jail time by the judge, he is dead by his own hand. The coroner ruled that the Wednesday death of Aungst, 47, was a suicide, according to PennLive. Aungst had pleaded guilty on June 27 in federal court to a charge of demonstrating or parading in a restricted building. His Sept. 27 sentencing could have sent him to prison for six months and fined him up to $5,000 — and the judge had made jail time sound likely when their sentencing was scheduled. D. C. Judge Reggie B. Walton told Aungst and co-defendant Tammy A. Bronsburg that “they better have good reasons why they should avoid jail for their participation in the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol,” according to an earlier PennLive report. Aungst and Bronsburg traveled together to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Neither was accused of any assault on police or property. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Furst said the two Pennsylvania residents first entered the Capitol through a Senate fire door at about 2:45 p.m. and left about 30 seconds later. About 20 minutes after that, they re-entered through a different doorway, where they took photos and videos on their cellphones. During that time, they walked through the Capitol, including Senate room 145. Video and photo evidence was used to document their presence there, including their own comments to others on the bus that brought them to and from the Capitol. A court document said Bronsburg was pictured in a Capitol hallway with a blue Trump flag across her shoulders while taking a selfie. Aungst, whose daughter is expecting a baby girl, was pictured on a bus wearing a Trump cap, smiling and giving a thumbs-up gesture. The plea agreements called for Aungst and Bronsburg to pay $500 each in restitution for damage others did to the Capitol. Charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building, disorderly conduct in such a building, and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building that were filed against them were to be dismissed under the terms of the agreement. “Mark was a gas field well service technician in the area. He was a member of Messiah Lutheran Church,” his obituary read. “A loyal and dedicated man, Mark showed tremendous pride for God and his country.” “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.” This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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