Crest Hill couple, 62 and 72, plead guilty in Jan. 6 US Capitol case

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Ross Weidner WLS logo
Saturday, December 4, 2021
Crest Hill couple, 72 and 62, plead guilty in Jan 6. Capitol case
Crest Hill couple Amy Schubert and John Schubert both pleaded guilty to federal charges linked to the U.S. Capitol insurrection on January 6.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A southwest suburban couple in their 60's and 70's admitted that they scaled a wall and squeezed through a broken window at the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 rioting in Washington, D.C.

RELATED: Crest Hill couple charged in January 6 US Capitol attack

Amy Schubert, 62 and her husband John Schubert, Jr., 72, pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges linked to the insurrection at America's capitol building during a video hearing in Washington, D.C. District Court.

The Crest Hill couple pleaded guilty to one count, "Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds; Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building." Three other similar criminal misdemeanor counts associated with the violent attack of Jan. 6 were dropped as part of the plea agreement with U.S. prosecutors.

"They're not the first two who had an unblemished record until this moment until January sixth so obviously found something that called them and they acted on it," said ABC7 Legal Analyst Gil Soffer.

The Schuberts were arrested by FBI agents in July after Amy Schubert was identified on You Tube video of interior Capitol video.

District Judge Amy Berman Jackson accepted both pleas on Friday. The maximum sentence for their violations is six months in prison. Various small fines and restitution were also part of the guilty plea. Sentencing did not occur on Friday.

The complaint against the couple displayed several photos from capitol security cameras, including one that shows the back of Mrs. Schubert's jacket. Investigators used the labor union jacket to trace and verify her presence inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Amy Schubert, seen in footage presented by federal investigators.
John Schubert seen in footage from January 6, presented by federal investigators.

"Both Mr. and Mrs. Schubert entered the U.S. Capitol," and remained inside for nearly one hour, according to assistant U.S. Attorney Anita Eve. The couple roamed the halls of Congress including private meeting rooms, Eve said. She said they climbed over walls and were "maced" at one point. John Schubert made entry through a broken window according to investigators and knew it was illegal. Mr. Schubert told Judge Berman Jackson that he did indeed enter the capitol through a broken window during the day of insurrection and that he knew it was wrong to do so.

"I plead guilty," Schubert told the judge.

"Had they gone to trial they would have lost," Soffer explained. "The evidence was overwhelming. There were social media posts there were tracking. There are any number of pieces of evidence that the government would have brought against them. There would have been no sense in pushing this to trial."

As in many of the hundreds of cases brought by federal authorities, the Schuberts were detected by blatant social media posts, mobile device tracking, security photos and an anonymous tip from the public to the FBI after viewing video of the Schubert's on a page called "The Insurrection of the United States Capitol."

Amy Schubert, identified in the complaint as a graduate of Joliet Catholic Academy, was in the capitol with her husband from nearly the first moments the building was breached. According to prosecutors, the Joliet native, 61 at the time, joined her husband in climbing through a broken window to gain access to the building and entered into the rotunda and a congressional meeting room.

"There was a wall of stones, or pavers, and we climbed up that wall to get to a porch to go in," Amy Schubert told the court. "I plead guilty."

The Schuberts were inside the building at the time capitol police shot and killed intruder Ashli Babbitt during the riot, said assistant U.S. Attorney Anita Eve. There was no suggestion they were at that shooting site or had a role in it.

Amy Schubert said that the couple now lives in Joliet.

The judge set a sentencing date, by video, for February 17 at 9:30 am.

Washington, D.C. attorney Heather Shaner represented both of the Schuberts.