Courts

North Texan Who Wrote 'Murder the Media' on U.S. Capitol Door Pleads Guilty over Pro-Trump Riot

Nicholas DeCarlo (right) and Nicholas Ochs have pleaded guilty in connection with the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Nicholas DeCarlo (right) and Nicholas Ochs have pleaded guilty in connection with the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Court documents
Posing for a picture during the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, probably wasn’t Nicholas DeCarlo’s best idea, but it likely wasn’t the worst decision he made that day either.

Along with Nicholas Ochs, a Honolulu resident and purported leader in the far-right Proud Boys group, North Texas native DeCarlo attended the Capitol riot and appeared on livestreams throughout the day.

In a D.C. court last week, Ochs and DeCarlo pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding in exchange for prosecutors dropping additional charges.

DeCarlo, a 32-year-old Fort Worth resident, could face between three and a half to four years behind bars, though a judge could still impose a sentence harsher than the guidelines.

Robert Feitel, DeCarlo's attorney, had not replied to the Observer's request for comment by publication time.

DeCarlo is one of at least 40 North Texans who have been charged in connection with the Capitol riot, Katherine Chaumont, a spokesperson for the FBI in Dallas, said by email Monday.

DeCarlo had traveled from Texas to the nation's capital, staying in a Virginia hotel with Ochs. When supporters of former President Donald Trump marched from a so-called "Stop the Steal" rally to the Capitol building, DeCarlo and Ochs were among them.

At one point during clashes that day, “both men threw smoke bombs at the police line,” the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement on Friday. Later, when the pair found a Capitol police duffel bag, DeCarlo reportedly swiped a pair of plastic handcuffs.

After Ochs and DeCarlo left the building, they told livestream viewers that they and other rioters had successfully prevented the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory. Ochs apologized to viewers for not being able to broadcast footage of “when we stormed the f*ckin' U.S. Capitol and made Congress flee.”

"Murder the Media." – Nicholas DeCarlo, Capitol riot defendant.

tweet this
“We did our job,” DeCarlo said on video, according to court documents. “We did our job.”

Authorities say DeCarlo later admitted he scrawled “Murder the Media” on a Capitol building door, an apparent reference to a right-wing media collective.

Ochs was arrested in Hawaii the day after the riot, and DeCarlo got picked up in Burleson, about 15 miles south of Fort Worth, on Jan. 27, 2021.

Around the country, federal authorities have charged more than 900 people with offenses related to the Capitol riot. Around 42% have entered guilty pleas.

In late July, the first jury trial of a Capitol rioter ended with Wylie resident Guy Reffitt receiving a sentence of more than seven years in federal prison.

Earlier this month, Kelly SoRelle, an attorney for the far-right Oath Keepers militia, was charged with four counts related to the Capitol riot. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia says SoRelle, a 43-year-old Granbury resident, tried to derail the investigation by destroying and hiding evidence. She's also charged with obstructing an official proceeding.

In the wake of the Capitol riot, Republicans around the country condemned the violence. Many have since changed their tune, including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who went on Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show in May to apologize for having previous called the incident a "violent terrorist attack." 
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patrick Strickland is the news editor at the Dallas Observer. He's a former senior reporter at Al Jazeera English and has reported for the New York Review of Books, The Guardian, Politico EU and The New Republic, among others.