CT Man Sentenced to 90 Months In Prison for His Actions during Jan 6, 2021 Capitol Breach

A Connecticut man was sentenced Friday in the District of Columbia on felony and misdemeanor offenses for his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. His 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.

Patrick E. McCaughey III, 25, of Ridgefield, was sentenced to 90 months in prison for nine offenses.

McCaughey was found guilty following a bench trial, on September 13, 2022, along with co-defendants Tristan Chandler Stevens, 26, of Pensacola, Florida, and David Mehaffie, 63, of Kettering, Ohio, who are awaiting sentencing.

McCaughey was convicted of seven felony charges: three counts of aiding or abetting or assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers, including one involving a dangerous weapon; one count of obstruction of an official proceeding; one count of interfering with a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder; one count of disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, and one count of engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon. The two misdemeanor charges include: disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building and committing an act of violence in the Capitol Building or grounds.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Trevor N. McFadden ordered 36 months of supervised release and restitution of $2,000.

Photo courtesy US Dept of Justice. January 2021
Photo courtesy US Dept of Justice. January 2021

According to the government’s evidence, on Jan. 6, 2021, McCaughey, Stevens, and Mehaffie all traveled to Washington, D.C. from their respective homes. Each illegally made his way on to the restricted grounds of the U.S. Capitol. McCaughey and Stevens taunted officers at the West Front, and Mehaffie yelled at nearby rioters who were hesitating to illegally cross the outer perimeter, “if we can’t fight over this wall, we can’t win this battle!”

The three defendants ultimately broke through the police line after approximately 2:30 p.m., when the line on the West Front failed under the siege of the advancing mob. Each of the defendants scaled the Southwest scaffolding and staircase, to converge together at the tunnel created by the inaugural platform structure on the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol Building.

At the Lower West Terrace, officers of the U.S. Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department guarded the entrance door to the Capitol from the mob – including McCaughey, Stevens and Mehaffie – for several hours.

Between 2:41 p.m. and 3:19 p.m., the three defendants attempted to break into the building by directing other rioters, participating in heave-hos against the police line, using riot shields stolen from the Capitol Police, and assaulting three specific officers. Mehaffie hung from an archway and shouted direction from above, and McCaughey and Stevens were key players in the melee below. McCaughey grabbed a riot shield and used it as a weapon. Even after officers finally cleared the tunnel area, the three defendants illegally remained on Capitol grounds.

McCaughey was arrested on Jan. 19, 2021, in South Salem, New York.

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

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s New Haven, Albany, and Washington Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department. The FBI’s Washington Field Office identified McCaughey as #62, Stevens as #64, and Mehaffie as #86 on its seeking information photos.

In the 27 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,000 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 320 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.