'Zip Tie Guy' and Mom Sentenced to Prison for Capitol Riot

00:26 09.09.2023

Mother and Son Sentenced to Prison for Involvement in Capitol Attack

A Tennessee man, known as "Zip Tie Guy," and his mother have been sentenced to prison for their roles in the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. Eric Munchel, 32, was sentenced to nearly five years in prison, while his mother, Lisa Marie Eisenhart, 59, received a sentence of two and a half years. They were also fined $2,000 each and will face two and a half years of supervised release after serving their sentences.

The pair were found guilty in April of conspiracy to commit obstruction, obstruction of an official proceeding, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building. Munchel was additionally found guilty of two other felonies related to carrying weapons on Capitol grounds.

Munchel and Eisenhart had traveled to Washington on January 6th, donning matching tactical vests and carrying zip tie-style handcuffs. Prosecutors argued that they had "prepared for violence" and projected their willingness to engage in it by wearing the tactical gear. They were seen on social media and in photographs storming the Senate chamber, with Munchel carrying a Taser and other unspecified weapons.

During their sentencing, Eisenhart locked arms with her son as they stood together at the podium. The pair's lawyers had defended them as Americans caught up in the events of the day, claiming they had no ill intent. Munchel's lawyer stated that his client regretted his actions and had accepted responsibility for them, while Eisenhart's lawyer argued that tactical gear can be worn for defensive or offensive reasons.

More than 1,100 individuals from across the country have been arrested in connection with crimes related to the Capitol riot. According to court records, Munchel and Eisenhart entered the Capitol building, stole zip tie handcuffs from the U.S. Capitol Police, and openly declared their intent to intimidate Congress.

Prosecutors highlighted the mother-son dynamic that played out during the attack, with both encouraging each other and other rioters to advance and gain ground. Court records also revealed that Eisenhart warned her son about the consequences of carrying weapons into the Capitol, to which he responded that he would not enter the building with them.

After spending approximately 12 minutes inside the Capitol, Munchel instructed his mother to dispose of the zip ties before they left the scene. He was arrested on January 10th, 2021. Both Munchel and Eisenhart gave interviews to The London Times in which they expressed their motivations for participating in the riot.

Munchel, who became known as "Zip Tie Guy," gained notoriety for a viral photo of him in the Senate chamber wearing a tactical vest and holding stolen handcuffs. His lawyers argued that his attire was simply a fashion choice and that he only brought the Taser in anticipation of potential violence incited by ANTIFA.

Eisenhart's lawyers stated that a felony conviction would likely jeopardize her nursing career, which she has held for 30 years. However, prosecutors argued that her decision to participate in the attack on her own government warranted incarceration.

The sentences handed down to Munchel and Eisenhart align closely with what prosecutors had requested. The government emphasized that their involvement in the attack demonstrated a clear disrespect for the law and the peaceful transfer of power. With over 1,100 individuals facing charges related to the Capitol riot, the justice system continues to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

/ Saturday, September 9, 2023, 12:26 PM /

themes:  Washington  Tennessee

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