A January 6th Defendant Commits Suicide

A 37-year-old man charged with the breach of the United States Capitol building committed suicide on Friday, around a month before he was supposed to be sentenced.

Matthew Perna was accused of trespassing on the Capitol grounds, blockage of an authorized proceeding, and abetting rowdy and disturbing conduct in a prohibited structure or grounds. 


Per the Justice Department papers, the defendant infringed and engaged in chanting “USA.”

Perna did not appear to engage in any acts of violence; though he did claim to have “tapped” on Capitol glass with a “metal rod” when he was “frustrated,” the files show.

According to an online obituary for the deceased, Perna “died with a broken heart,” adding “the court system murdered his spirit.” 

“Matthew Lawrence Perna died of a broken heart on February 25, 2022,” the obituary stated. His neighborhood, nation, and legal system all contributed to the demise of his enthusiasm and zest for life. Matt was an incredible man! He encountered more in his 37 years than the majority of people do in their entire lifetimes.” 

Perna faced a maximum term of 20 years in jail. However, his punishment, which was scheduled to be handed down on April 1, was expected to be significantly less. 

“Perna pleaded guilty to the most serious allegation, federal obstruction, which carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison; though he almost certainly would have received a far shorter sentence,” Law & Crime explained.

“Three suspects charged on January 6 have pleaded guilty. All have been put in prison: Paul Hodgkins to eight months, Scott Fairlamb to eight months, and Jacob Chansley, also dubbed as the ‘QAnon Shaman,’ to 41 months apiece.”

Perna was also charged with three felonies, including disorderly conduct, entering, and remaining in a prohibited structure or grounds, according to the report.

According to Law & Crime, the obituary asserts Perna’s acts on January 6, 2021 were wholly nonviolent and the Justice Department targeted him unjustly.

An Excerpt from the Obituary

On January 6, 2021, he attended the march to express his ideas peacefully. When he learned the FBI was hunting for him, he surrendered quickly.

He entered the Capitol through an already opened entrance (rather than breaking in as originally stated) and was escorted in by police.

He did not injure, damage, or steal anything. By remaining within the velvet ropes and photographing them, he caused no harm to anyone.

He has been persecuted for this act by numerous community members, acquaintances, relatives, and strangers. Numerous others were quietly sympathetic. Matt was very appreciative.

The frequent cancellations and delays in hearings dragged on for more than a year. Matt’s heart broke; his spirit died due to this, and numerous individuals bear responsibility for the anguish he faced.

Matt possessed not a single hateful bone in his body. He loved people of all ethnicities, income levels, and religious beliefs without criticizing someone for holding a contrary position.