UPDATED 4:05 PM PT – Sunday, July 24, 2022
A January 6 defendant died of an apparent suicide while awaiting sentencing. Recently, 47-year-old Pennsylvania native Mark Aungst who pled guilty in May to parading in a restricted building was found dead. The Lycoming County coroner has ruled the death to be a suicide. Aungst was expected to serve prison time, but an exact amount had not been set yet. He faced a maximum of six months.
“A loyal and dedicated man, Mark showed tremendous pride for God and his country,” read Aungst’s obituary on NorthcentralPA.com. “Above all else, Mark loved his daughter and any time they spent together, as she was truly his world.”
Breaking: January 6 political prisoner Mark R. Aungst, 47, of South Williamsport, PA, has died in an apparent suicide. He had plead guilty to demonstrating or parading in a restricted building. pic.twitter.com/MOuWFuXxVp
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) July 23, 2022
DOJ describing what Mark Aungst, who apparently committed suicide a few days ago, did on Jan 6.
Aungst was arrested in Feb 2021 and accepted a plea on “parading,” a petty offense, in May. No doubt he would face jail time and endure a humiliating rant by Judge Reggie Walton: pic.twitter.com/rHNSAqcPR7
— Julie Kelly 🇺🇸 (@julie_kelly2) July 23, 2022
Aungst and co-defendant Tammy Bronsburg took a bus to Washington on January 6, 2021 for President Donald Trump’s “Stop The Steal” rally. After Trump’s speech they marched to the Capitol.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Furst said video evidence showed the pair entering the Capitol through the Senate fire door at approximately 2:45 p.m. and leaving 30 seconds later. They re-entered the building through another door and took photos and videos inside on their cellphones.
Aungst is not the first defendant to take their own life after being charged for being in Washington that day. Earlier this year, another Pennsylvania man arrested in connection with the January 6 riots committed suicide. Matthew Perna, who had also gone to Washington to support Trump pleaded guilty in December of 2021 to entering the building and faced years in prison. He hung himself in his garage.
“He attended the rally on Jan. 6, 2021 to peacefully stand up for his beliefs,” said Perna’s family. “After learning that the FBI was looking for him, he immediately turned himself in. He didn’t break, touch, or steal anything. He did not harm anyone. He stayed within the velvet ropes taking pictures. For this act he has been persecuted by many members of his community, friends, relatives, and people who had never met him. Many people were quietly supportive and Matt was truly grateful for them.”
He is survived by his mother, daughter and three siblings.