Here’s what jurors must decide in the Oath Keepers Capitol riot case

Kelly Meggs, Kenneth Harrelson await jury decision

This artist sketch depicts the trial of Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes and four others charged with seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack, in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022. Shown above are, witness John Zimmerman, who was part of the Oath Keepers' North Carolina Chapter, seated in the witness stand, defendant Thomas Caldwell, of Berryville, Va., seated front row left, Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, seated second left with an eye patch, defendant Jessica Watkins, of Woodstock, Ohio, seated third from right, Kelly Meggs, of Dunnellon, Fla., seated second from right, and defendant Kenneth Harrelson, of Titusville, Fla., seated at right. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Rakoczy is shown in blue standing at right before U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta. (Dana Verkouteren via AP) (Dana Verkouteren, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – When jurors return to deliberate the fate of five members of the Oath Keepers on Monday, they will have to answer different questions for each defendant, and the answers could mean the difference between jail time and walking free.

After nearly eight weeks of arguments and testimony, the jury began deliberations on Tuesday and they will pick up where they left off after the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Kelly Meggs, of Dunnellon, and Kenneth Harrelson, of Titusville, are charged alongside Oath Keepers leader Elmer Stewart Rhodes, Jessica Watkins and Thomas Caldwell.

Meggs and Harrelson were the only defendants to not take the stand in their own defense.

Kelly Meggs and Kenneth Harrelson (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

All five face one of the most severe charges to come out of the attack on the U.S. Capitol – conspiracy to commit sedition.

According to the jury instructions, they all face a charge that they conspired to obstruct an official proceeding – the certification of the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, 2021.

They also face a charge, according to the instructions, that they conspired to prevent members of Congress from discharging their official duties.

But each defendant faces additional charges that the jurors will also have to decide.

Meggs, Harrelson and Watkins are charged with destruction of government property for their actions that day.

Watkins is charged with impeding officers.

Rhodes, Meggs, Harrelson and Caldwell are charged with obstruction of justice based on allegation that they deleted content from their personal cell phones to prevent a grand jury from obtaining that content.

How long it will take to answer those questions based on what was presented in court is up to the jury.

If convicted of conspiracy to commit sedition, each defendant faces a maximum 20 year prison sentence.

Meggs and Harrelson are two of 35 Central Florida residents who have been arrested and charged in connection with the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

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About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013 and became an Investigator in 2020. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.