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Kentucky Woman Pleads Guilty to Spraying Pepper Spray at Officers During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

Defendant Pleads Guilty to Felony and Misdemeanor Charges

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A Kentucky woman pleaded guilty today to resisting, impeding, and interfering with law enforcement officers with a dangerous weapon and other crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Her 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.

Shelly Stallings, 43, of Morganfield, Kentucky, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to all counts in a superseding indictment charging her with assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers using a dangerous weapon, interfering with a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder, and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, among other charges.

According to court documents, Stallings and three co-defendants sprayed a chemical irritant, pepper spray, at a line of police officers attempting to secure the area of the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol Building. The co-defendants, including her husband Peter J. Schwartz, 49, have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Stallings was arrested on Feb. 16, 2022, in Owensboro, Kentucky. She pleaded guilty to a total of seven charges. The charges include five felonies: assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers using a dangerous weapon; interfering with a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, and engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon. She also pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor offenses: disorderly conduct in the Capitol Grounds of Buildings and committing an act of physical violence in the Capitol Grounds or Buildings. She is to be sentenced on Jan. 13, 2023. She faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison on the charge of assaulting officers with a dangerous weapon and statutory maximums totaling 36 additional years for the other offenses, as well as potential financial penalties.

A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington and Louisville Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.

In the 19 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 860 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 260 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.