Jan. 6 defendant reportedly commits suicide

"Matt’s heart broke and his spirit died, and many people are responsible for the pain he endured," his obituary states.

Published: February 27, 2022 9:20pm

Updated: February 27, 2022 10:46pm

January 6 defendant Matthew Perna has reportedly taken his own life after his family said he was "bullied to death" by the Department of Justice despite having not committed a violent crime.

American Greatness senior writer Julie Kelly tweeted Sunday morning that she heard reports that a Jan. 6 defendant had committed suicide.

"If confirmed, this defendant committed no violent crime and walked through an open door with Capitol police present," Kelly wrote. "Biden's DOJ has tried to destroy so many lives over the past year--they may have another victim."

Kelly called the Jan. 6 prosecutors "sadistic" and said, "At least one other Jan 6 defendant has committed suicide."

Later in the day, Kelly tweeted that the story was true. 

"I cannot express the rage I feel after speaking with his family. More on this tomorrow," she said.

According to his obituary on Flynn Funeral Home's website, Perna died on Feb. 25, 2022, "of a broken heart… the justice system killed his spirit and his zest for life."

The obituary explains that Perna attended the Jan. 6 rally and entered the Capitol through an open door where police ushered him in. He stayed within velvet ropes in the Capitol building and took pictures there without hurting anyone or breaking anything, according to the obituary. He reportedly turned himself in as soon as he knew the FBI was looking for him. 

"The constant delays in hearings, and postponements dragged out for over a year," the obituary states. "Because of this, Matt’s heart broke and his spirit died, and many people are responsible for the pain he endured."

Perna was described in the obituary as a "Christian who read his Bible daily" and "did not have a hateful bone in his body."

Perna was arrested in Sharpsville, Penn., on Jan. 19, 2021, and indicted more than a month later. 

He pleaded guilty in December to Jan. 6-related charges including obstructing an official proceeding, disorderly and disruptive conduct and entering and remaining in a restricted area according to the Department of Justice.  

In the DOJ's Statement of Facts, Perna claimed to only be inside the Capitol for five to ten minutes after being "pushed into the building by a crowd" and that it was "not his intention to enter the Capitol."

His sentencing was scheduled for March 3, 2022. Perna faced up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, as well as other penalties for misdemeanors, WKBN reports.

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