Justice Department to seek prison time for Texas family of 5 in Jan. 6 case


Prosecutors are seeking prison time for five members of a Texas family arrested for roles in the U.S. Capitol breach. In new court filings, the Justice Department recommends one month in prison for Dawn and Thomas Munn, and 21-day prison sentences for three of the couple’s adult children.   

The Munn family, of Borger, Texas, has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge, acknowledging they spent nearly an hour inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, including time in a private Senate conference room. Members of the family are accused of bragging about their roles on Jan. 6, or of misrepresenting the size and scope of the attack and damage. One of the five is accused of blaming police.

In letters and court filings seeking leniency, the mother of the family continues to raise questions about the legitimacy of the 2020 election results, citing “mathematical impossibilities” in the results from Election Day. In her letter to the court, Dawn Munn said the family traveled to Washington as part of a graduation trip for two of her younger children. In one of the letters, Munn indicated a federal stimulus check helped pay for the trip.

A third daughter, under the age of 18, was also inside the Capitol with the family, according to court filings.

Prosecutors alleged in the filings that Dawn Munn, 57, a nurse; her husband, Thomas, 55, a U.S. Army veteran;  son Joshua, 25, a janitor; and daughters Kristi, 30, and 20-year-old Kayli climbed into the Capitol through broken windows in a Senate wing door. 

In a series of sentencing memorandums filed this week, the Justice Department laid out a series of allegations against the family. In Kristi Munn’s case, prosecutors said, “Despite witnessing confrontations with officers, the defendant and her family continued to roam the Capitol building until finding their way to Room S-145, a Senate conference room, where they spent time observing a large number of rioters and officers gathered to the west of the building.”

Screenshot showing Kristi Munn in the Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021.

Government exhibit

According to the memos, prosecutors asked D.C. District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell to sentence the Munn parents to 30 days in prison and to issue three-week sentences to the adult children. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 12.

Screenshot showing the Munn family in the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021.

Government exhibit

Security camera images released by the Justice Department show a variety of images of the Munn family amid the mob. According to the prosecutors’ filings, Thomas is shown smoking a cigarette while moving through the building. One of his daughters can be seen wearing a camouflage jacket, while another is draped in a Trump banner.  A family photo near the Capitol, with the face of the underage child obscured, is included in court filings from the Justice Department.

The Munn family at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021.

Government exhibit

Asking for leniency from the judge, Dawn Munn has submitted a pair of letters to the court. In one, Munn wrote, “As of yet, there has not been a definite answer to my question, on the accuracy of the vote, so a question does remain. I do acknowledge that the vote was certified, and President Biden was inaugurated on Jan 20 of 2021, so I totally accept he is the president. Our president. Whether or not I agree with a person’s policies, I do respect the position and President Biden was inaugurated as the president of our country. I do have a lot of remorse, for going into the building through the window, and more so overall, about going into the building at all. I should have known that something was wrong. You do not enter the Capitol through a broken window. I did realize something was very wrong and shortly after entering I began trying to figure out what to do –and how to get my family out of the building.”

In another letter, Dawn Munn referenced “mathematical impossibilities” involving the 2020 election and her family’s questions about election integrity.  She wrote, “In early January, I discovered a stimulus check had been deposited into our checking account. The family talked had about a trip to Washington D.C. to see the President speak and to see our nation’s history. This trip had a full itinerary, including to see the Lincoln Monument, as well as Arlington National Cemetery. The trip was made on very short notice and on a limited budget.”

Defense attorneys for most of the Munn family did not immediately return requests for comment.    

In their individual court filings seeking leniency at sentencing, the Munns make a series of arguments, including one that they were not violent on January 6. They’re asking for probation and that the family be spared from prison.

An attorney for Kayli Munn, the youngest of the three children charged, wrote in a memo to the court, “Ms. Kayli Munn was the youngest of the Munn family to be charged, as she was the youngest adult who was charged. Ms. Munn came on the trip willingly, but she was not the coordinator of the trip, being accompanied by her parents. To be clear, she was a willing participant, and does not deny her personal culpability in this matter, but her involvement was not as an organizer, but rather a young adult accompanying her family to a rally and inappropriately joining them as they all entered into the U.S. Capitol.”

The defense attorney for Kristi Munn wrote, “As a group of five, the Munn family was mindful of sticking together to avoid becoming separated amongst the large crowd which made their exit more complicated than for those acting alone. Although Ms. Munn and her family were inside for approximately 51 minutes, more than half of that time was spent looking for a way out and/or avoiding chaotic and potentially dangerous situations.”

Army veteran Thomas Munn’s attorney argued he does not present a danger to the community.  

“Mr. Munn’s history is not that of a dangerous criminal, but of a devoted husband and caring father, who made a terrible error in judgment on January 6th. He is a stay-at-home dad who has eight children with his wife.”

Dawn Munn’s attorney, Heather Shaner, told CBS News a probation sentence would be more beneficial.  

“I would propose education courses in civics and U.S. government at a community college as a requirement of a term of probation would be of greater benefit to the defendant, her family and the community than a period of incarceration.”

There are approximately 880 federal defendants in the U.S. Capitol riot. The Munn family members are among approximately 300 who have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors.

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