More than two years after a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump clashed with police while invading the U.S. Capitol, a Delaware woman and her brother from Pennsylvania have been arrested for their alleged efforts to storm the building.
Heather Kepley, 36, of Millsboro in Sussex County, and her 37-year-old brother Anthony Nolf, of the Birdsboro area about 50 miles northwest of Philadelphia, were charged this week, according to federal court documents.
Kepley is the sixth Delawrean among more than 1,000 people charged in the deadly Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection that saw pro-Trump demonstrators try to stop Congress from certifying the election of Delawarean Joe Biden as president. Biden defeated Trump in the 2020 election.
The most prominent prosecution of a Delawarean has been the case against Kevin Seefriend and his son Hunter of Laurel, who entered the Capitol through a broken window and clashed with officers. Kevin Seefried gained international notoriety for parading around the building that Biden calls the “cradle of liberty’’ with a Confederate flag.
Kevin Seefried was sentenced in February to three years in prison. Hunter Seefried received two years in prison.
In the newest case, prosecutors charge that Kepley and Nolf, each accompanied by a son who is a minor, were part of a group of protesters who moved bike racks while pushing past officers into a tunnel that led to the interior of the Capitol.
Kepley wore camouflage gloves and carried a pink Trump flag that day, prosecutors say.
In the tunnel, Nolf allegedly joined others in a “heave-ho’’ effort to barge past officers into the building but were repelled. After several minutes, they walked out of the tunnel, court records say.
Kepley faces misdemeanor charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building.
Nolf is charged with the same offenses, plus felony civil disorder.
Authorities interviewed Nolf about two weeks after the insurrection, according to a Statement of Facts filed with the U.S. District Court complaint. Nolf told them he attended Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally with his son and went to the Capitol afterward but remained “on the steps” and “stood back from the police line.”
An FBI agent from Wilmington interviewed Kepley in January 2022 and she told them she went to the rally with her son and her brother and his son, court records show.
Kepley acknowledged walking toward “a crowd of people near a tunnel entrance to the Capitol,” records showed.
On her Instagram account that day, Kepley posted a screenshot of herself and a boy standing in front of the Washington Monument above a caption that said, “My family supporting our President.”
Authorities counter, however, that several photos taken of Nolf and Kepley that day show them being part of the crowd at the Capitol that pushed against officers and moved toward the tunnel. The Statement of Facts includes several of those photos.
The court file also includes a since-deleted Kepley post allegedly shared on her Facebook account. The post includes a photo where the bespectacled Kepley’s “face is red and irritated and appears to have some abrasions,” as well as two photos of the crowd at the Capitol. The accompanying caption reads, “The government is all Corruption and lies. And the media can go f… themselves.”
The court file also includes an alleged photo of Kepley, taken outside the Capitol, that shows a bespectacled woman, wearing camouflage gloves, with a reddened face.
The case will be prosecuted in Washington, D.C. but authorities said Kepley had an initial appearance this week in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, and was released with unspecified conditions.
Attempts to reach Kepley were unsuccessful.