At the time of Perna's death, his mourning family reportedly said that he "couldn't take another day" after learning of the sentencing enhancement. His aunt, speaking to Dinesh D'Souza in his documentary Police State, revealed that Perna had a positive outlook when it came to serving time for trespassing on January 6, but that the terrorism enhancement was more than he could bear. After his death, she said she spoke to his prosecutor who claimed the enhancement would have been dropped in due time. But it was too late for Perna.
Perna can be seen on surveillance footage walking calmly through the Capitol hallways with others who were there on that day, including police officers.
American Greatness senior contributor Julie Kelly, who reported extensively on the story at the time, said "when I say these prosecutors are sadistic, I mean it."
"Getting reports a January 6 defendant just committed suicide. If confirmed, this defendant committed no violent crime and walked through an open door with Capitol police present. Biden's DOJ has tried to destroy so many lives over the past year--they may have another victim," she said.
"If what I am hearing is true, the Biden regime and news media have blood on their hands. (At least one other Jan 6 defendant has committed suicide.) When confirmed, this story should outrage every single American. And when I say these prosecutors are sadistic, I mean it."
Over 1,200 people were arrested on charges stemming from the Capitol riot on January 6. One woman was killed, Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by Capitol Police after allegedly trying to get through a door with a crowd of others.
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