Local Jan. 6 suspects to be arraigned this month

Photo provided Donald Moss, Elizabethtown, and James Link Behymer, shown circled in this photos, are shown entering the U.S. Capitol building.

WASHINGTON — Two Bartholomew County residents who have been charged with assaulting law enforcement officers and storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, have been scheduled to be arraigned in federal court later this month.

Donald Lee Moss, 62, of Elizabethtown and James Link Behymer, 61, of Hope will appear in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., via Zoom for their arraignment and a status conference on May 29, according to court filings.

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, who also is presiding over the criminal case against former President Donald Trump over his alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Earlier this month, a grand jury indictment against the two men was unveiled, charging them with civil disorder; assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.

Federal prosecutors allege that Moss and Behymer were part of a group of “angry and violent rioters” who descended upon and assaulted D.C. Metropolitan police officers near the lower west terrace of the U.S. Capitol who were attempting to keep them from breaching the building on Jan. 6, 2021.

Federal authorities said in the complaint they were able to identify the two Bartholomew County men through cellphone records — including a cellphone number with an 812 area code that connected to a cell site that provided service inside the U.S. Capitol during the insurrection — as well as a witness described as “longtime associate of Moss and Behymer” who identified the two defendants after being shown still images.

Federal prosecutors also included images they claim are of the two men that were taken from officers’ body cameras and third-party footage.

The complaint alleges that Moss and Behymer shoved officers’ arms away from them as the group of rioters “surged toward the surrounded MPD officers and began violently assaulting the officers.” The complaint further alleges that Behymer struck an officer in the wrist and later attempted to pry a baton out of an officer’s hand while stating, “Now I’m being soft, but I do want this pole.”

Moss, who at one point shouted, “This is our (expletive) house” while pointing at the Capitol, allegedly struck an officer’s arm and baton and forcefully pushed another police officer from behind during the attack, the complaint states.

The two Bartholomew County men made their way through the crowd and entered the U.S. Capitol and entered the Crypt, a vaulted space located underneath the Capitol Rotunda. They later exited the Capitol but reentered after rioters broke through a barricade set up by Capitol police at the Senate Wing doors.

After reentering, they returned to the Crypt and moved a sign that had been placed on a statute outside the Crypt’s entrance and put it on another statute before taking pictures of it, according to the complaint. On one side, the sign included the initials of the Chinese Communist Party with a circle and red line through it, while “America First” and “Never give up, never surrender” were written on the other side.

When the two men left the area, Moss took the sign with him and was allegedly captured in video footage carrying the sign inside the U.S. Capitol, as well as outside the building.

The arrest of Moss and Behymer raises the total number of current and former Bartholomew County residents who have faced criminal charges over their alleged roles in the deadly insurrection to three.

In April 2021, former Columbus resident and heavy metal musician Jon Schaffer pleaded guilty to storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.