- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 23, 2022

A Pennsylvania man awaiting sentencing for his participation in the 2021 Capitol riot died by suicide, a coroner ruled this week.

Mark R. Aungst of South Williamsport pleaded guilty on June 27 in a District of Columbia federal court to a charge of demonstrating or parading in a restricted building.

Following his guilty plea, he remained free on personal recognizance but was not allowed in Washington, except for court-related reasons.

Mr. Aungst was scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 27, with the possibility of facing up to six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

An obituary posted to NorthcentralPA.com said Mr. Aungst had “tremendous pride for God and his country,” as well as his family.

“Above all else, Mark loved his daughter and any time they spent together, as she was truly his world,” the obituary read.

He is survived by his mother, three siblings, and his daughter.

Mr. Aungst, who was a gas field well service technician, attended former President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally, then subsequently went to the U.S. Capitol with other demonstrators.

The defendant had entered the Capitol complex, and took photos and videos of Senate rooms, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Furst.

Mr. Aungst did not assault law enforcement or steal or damage government property, according to the prosecutor.

Mr. Aungst‘s death comes amid high-profile congressional hearings focused on the Capitol riot and its roots.

Earlier this year, another Pennsylvania man, Matthew Perna, arrested in connection to the Capitol riot also died by suicide.

Mr. Perna pleaded guilty in December of 2021 to trespassing and faced years in prison. The defendant hanged himself in his garage.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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