An Ohio man was sentenced today in the District of Columbia for felony and misdemeanor offenses stemming from his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
David Mehaffie, 63, of Kettering, Ohio, was sentenced to 14 months in prison for two felony charges: aiding and abetting in assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers, and interfering with a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder; and six months in prison for two misdemeanor charges: disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building and aiding and abetting in committing an act of violence in the Capitol Building or grounds. Both sentences will run concurrently. Mehaffie and his co-defendants – Patrick E. McCaughey III, of Ridgefield, Connecticut and Tristan Chandler Stevens, of Pensacola, Florida, were found guilty on September 13, 2022, following a bench trial before U.S. District Judge Trevor N. McFadden. In addition to the prison term, Judge McFadden ordered 24 months of supervised release. A decision on restitution is pending.
According to the government’s evidence, on Jan. 6, 2021, Mehaffie, McCaughey, and Stevens, traveled together to Washington, D.C. from their respective homes. Each illegally made his way on to the restricted grounds of the U.S. Capitol. McCaughey and Stevens taunted officers at the West Front, and Mehaffie yelled at nearby rioters who were hesitating to illegally cross the outer perimeter, “if we can’t fight over this wall, we can’t win this battle!”
The three defendants ultimately broke through the police line after approximately 2:30 p.m., when the line on the West Front failed under the siege of the advancing mob. Each of the defendants scaled the Southwest scaffolding and staircase, to converge together at the tunnel created by the inaugural platform structure on the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol Building.
At the Lower West Terrace, officers of the U.S. Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department guarded the entrance door to the Capitol from the mob — including McCaughey, Stevens and Mehaffie — for several hours. Between 2:41 p.m. and 3:19 p.m., the three defendants attempted to break into the building by directing other rioters, participating in heave-hos against the police line, using riot shields stolen from the Capitol Police, and assaulting three specific officers. Mehaffie hung from an archway and shouted direction from above, and McCaughey and Stevens were key players in the melee below. McCaughey grabbed a riot shield and used it as a weapon. Even after officers finally cleared the tunnel area, the three defendants illegally remained on Capitol grounds
Mehaffie was arrested on Aug. 12, 2021, in Kettering, Ohio.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the District of Connecticut, the Northern District of Florida, the Southern District of New York, and the Southern District of Ohio.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, New Haven, and New York, Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department. The FBI’s Washington Field Office identified McCaughey as #62, Stevens as #64, and Mehaffie as #86 on its seeking information photos.
In the 25 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 985 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including approximately 319 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.