Zip-tie guy and mom guilty on felony Jan. 6 charges

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Family with ties to Woodstock became an enduring image from Capitol riot.

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., Tuesday found a Woodstock woman and her son who notoriously became known as the “zip-tie guy” guilty of felony charges related to their conduct at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth found Lisa Marie Eisenhart, 58, and Eric Munchel, 32, guilty on all counts in a non-jury bench trial that lasted just one day. The pair were convicted on felony charges of obstruction of an official proceeding and entering a restricted building with a dangerous weapon, as well as several misdemeanors related to their entry into the Capitol.

The verdict, which carries the possibility of up to 20 years in prison, comes after Eisenhart and Munchel turned down prosecutors’ plea deals as well as a chance to plead their case before a jury. Instead, the pair followed the largely unsuccessful path of a number of other Jan. 6 defendants and asked the judge to render a verdict.

After Tuesday’s verdict, the mother and son were allowed to remain free on bond -- at least for now. Sentencing for the pair is scheduled for Sept. 8.

Eisenhart and Munchel were among the first Georgians arrested in the days following the Capitol riot and spent 11 weeks in jail before they were granted bond at the end of March 2021.

Munchel, a bartender who lives in Nashville, became one of the enduring images of the Jan. 6 riot when an observer snapped a photo of him clad in black tactical gear vaulting over seats in the Senate gallery with a handful of plastic wrist restraints in his gloved hand. Online sleuths immediately dubbed Munchel the “zip-tie guy” and quickly sussed out his identity from other photos posted online.

Attorneys for the pair have said Munchel and Eisenhart found the zip-ties at a police checkpoint inside the Capitol and did not bring them to the riot, but it was the Taser strapped to Munchel’s belt that prosecutors used to bring the additional felony of carrying a dangerous weapon.

Prosecutors were aided by a 50-minute video that showed the pair’s movements through the Capitol. The video was recorded by Munchel’s phone, which was strapped to the front of his tactical vest.

Munchel and Eisenhart admitted to their involvement in the Jan. 6 riot in a document filed ahead of the trial, including their yells of encouragement to nearby rioters to enter the Capitol. According to the filing, when Eisenhart was told the riot was being covered by media and that the coverage likely would be used against the rioters, she replied, “I don’t care. That’s fine. They can.”

“We ain’t playing (expletive) nice no God damn more,” Munchel added, according to the filing.