FORT WORTH, Texas – A North Texas man has pleaded guilty to picketing in the U.S. Capitol while holding a beer can, according to court records.
Thomas Paul Conover, 53, of Keller, Texas, entered his plea in a Friday videoconference with a Washington, D.C., judge after reaching a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.
The charge carries a punishment of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. Conover also agreed to pay $500 in restitution toward damage to the Capitol in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. The plea agreement document specified about $1.5 million in damage to the Capitol resulting from the riot.
A judge must still adopt the agreement. Conover remained free on his own recognizance pending an April 8 sentencing hearing. If the Keller man cooperates with other prosecutions, prosecutors will seek dismissal of his indictment’s three other disorderly conduct and trespassing counts.
The FBI alleged that Conover not only participated in the Capitol incursion, he also posted photos and videos of his participation on his Facebook page. One video showed Conover holding a Coors Light beer can and saying, “I don’t always storm the Capitol of the United States of America, but when I do, I prefer Coors Light.”
Tipsters also identified Conover on Capitol security video of the mob that stormed the building, the complaint stated.