WASHINGTON — A federal judge convicted an Ohio pastor of two felony counts Monday for his role in the Capitol riot, saying prosecutors had more than proven he’d come to D.C. intending to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election.
The feds said they became aware of “Pastor Bill” just over a month after the attack on the Capitol, when a “tipster” took screenshots of incriminating comments on a Facebook page.
William Dunfee, 58, of Frazeysburg, Ohio, was arrested in October 2022 on multiple charges for using a bullhorn to incite the crowd at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, before himself joining in two breaches of police barricades. Dunfee is the pastor of New Beginnings Ministries Warsaw, a church in Warsaw, Ohio. Dunfee is also a partner in a construction company named Cross Builders, also based in Ohio, and was identified in part because he was wearing a baseball cap and jacket with the name and logo of the company he co-owns, Cross Builders, LLC in Coshocton. (D’oh!)
The honorable U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton
During a bench trial before U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton on Monday, Dunfee and his attorneys stipulated to facts sufficient to convict him on a felony count of civil disorder and a misdemeanor count of entering and remaining in a restricted area. Walton additionally convicted Dunfee of a second felony count of obstruction of an official proceeding.
“The election has been stolen right out from underneath our noses and it is time for the American people to rise up. Rise up. Rise up,” Dunfee is accused of saying over a bullhorn. “Today is the day in which it is that these elected officials realize that we are no longer playing games. That we are not sheeple.”
Dunfee later announces over the bullhorn: “We will stand up for our country. We are standing up for our freedoms,” according to video. “We are standing up for our president. And today is the day these elected officials, these senators and these congressmen, understand that we are not going to allow this to continue any longer.”
“Mister police officers, we want you to understand something. We want you to understand something. We want Donald Trump and if Donald Trump is not coming, we are taking our house,” he allegedly said. “We are taking our house.”
When one rioter said “We did it. We shut ‘em all down. We did our job,” the pastor allegedly replied with “Hallelujah.” “Mission accomplished.”
Prior to traveling to Washington for the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, the Department of Justice alleges in court records that Dunfee tried to fire up members of his congregation to make the trip. Dunfee is accused of posting a video on Dec. 27, 2020, telling his congregation: “The government, the tyrants, the socialists, the Marxists, the progressives, the RINOs (Republicans In Name Only), they fear you. And they should. Our problem is we haven’t given them any reason to fear us.”
Pastor William Dunfee was in the news previously when ladies from a strip club protested outside his church after the church had been protesting outside of their strip club.
✱ 64 Ohioans have been charged in the Jan. 6 insurrection so far.
✱ Frazeysburg is a 2 hour 20 minute drive from Youngstow on what they call the south-southwest route.