Joshua Matthew Black, an Alabama man who was shot in the face in the 2021 storming of the US Capitol, was convicted on Friday of a felony and misdemeanor charge for his role in the January 6 attack, the US Department of Justice said .
Black, 46, of Leeds, was found guilty of the following five counts in federal court in Washington, DC:
- Entering and remaining in a restricted building or compound with a deadly or dangerous weapon.
- Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or property with a deadly or dangerous weapon.
- Unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon on Capitol grounds or buildings.
- Enter and linger on the floor of the congress.
- Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building.
Black, who admitted carrying a knife during the Capitol break-in, is due to be sentenced on May 5. He faces up to 10 years in prison on a number of charges. Other charges carry a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison, and others carry a sentence of up to six months in prison, federal authorities said.
“According to government evidence, on January 6, 2021, Black was among a mob of rioters illegally on the Capitol grounds,” the Justice Department said. “He entered the Capitol and was captured in photos and video, posted on social media sites and stood on the floor of the Senate Chamber.
“Black later posted a video on YouTube talking about entering the Capitol and floor of the Senate chambers on January 6, 2021,” the Justice Department said. “He explained that ‘when we found out that Pence turned against us and that they had stolen the election, as official, the . . . Crowd went crazy. I mean, . . . it became a mob. We passed through the gate, we got up.’ He also admitted to carrying a knife into the Capitol because ‘you can’t carry guns in DC and I don’t like being defenseless.'”
Black, who ran a lawn maintenance service in Moody, was seen in videos and photos of the Jan. 6 riots wearing a red hat, camouflage jacket and yellow gloves. He appeared to be bleeding from his left cheek and later said he was trying to protect one or more police officers during the injury.
Two days after the riots, according to federal records, someone with the username “LetUs Talk” posted two videos on YouTube.
Like Black, the man had blood on the left side of his face in videos filmed in Senate chambers and said in the YouTube video he was shot with a projectile. In that video, federal prosecutors say, Black discussed entering the Capitol and sitting in the Senate.
When he was hit in the face by a projectile and offered medical help from what he believed to be law enforcement, court filings say, Black told them he believed they were trying to get him “behind enemy lines.” to pull, and said, “No. I’m with them I’m here to defend the constitution. I am a patriot.”
“(Black) has stated that he was led by Jesus to the Capitol and if he were called there again he would do it,” federal court documents said. “After he was shot in the face and spat out a substantial amount of blood (he says his mouth filled with blood 6-7 times) and after another person in the Capitol dug part of the projectile out of his cheek, the defendant continued to the Senate.”
During a search of Black’s home on Jan. 14, 2021, the FBI recovered the knife Black allegedly carried to the Capitol, federal authorities said. The FBI arrested Black later that day at a Moody police station. He was initially held without bail, but court documents indicate he was later released on his own.
During a January 2021 hearing, a Birmingham federal judge noted that while Black’s actions appeared passive that day, that may not always be the case.
“Just because he was passive in the Senate chambers, will he remain so unless God tells him otherwise?” US Judge John H. England, III said. “God could tell him to do something more violent, right?”
Black is one of nearly a dozen Alabama residents charged over their alleged role in the Jan. 6, 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol. At least three of them have pleaded guilty to federal crimes; others are awaiting trial.
An Alabama man, Russell Dean Alford, 62, of Hokes Bluff, was convicted in October 2022 for his role in the riots. Alford is due to be sentenced on January 23 and faces up to three years in prison.
According to a recent US Department of Justice report, more than 950 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states and the District of Columbia for their role in the Capitol break-in. More than 284 people were charged with assaulting, resisting or obstructing officials or employees, including around 99 people who were charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious bodily harm to an official.
AL.com reporter Carol Robinson contributed to this article.