Deliberations continue in trial of Rochester’s Dominic Pezzola and other Proud Boys

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The jury will continue deliberations on Thursday in the trial of Rochester’s Dominic Pezzola and four other Proud Boys members for their role in the Jan. 6, 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol.

All five are on trial for seditious conspiracy. Prosecutors say they were part of a plot to block Congress from ratifying the 2020 election and transferring presidential power to Joe Biden.

A video shows Pezzola smashing a window at the U.S. Capitol with a shield. While testifying in his own defense, Pezzola admitted to smashing the window but said he wasn’t part of a plot to interfere with the presidency. Pezzola finished three days on the witness stand on April 19.

The trial is in Washington, D.C., which is where Pezzola spoke to a reporter who has covered the whole trial. It started in January. The jury sat through four months of evidence like text messages and video.

Kyle Cheney is a reporter for Politico and his assignment is covering the sedition trial of five Proud Boys, including Rochester’s Dominic Pezzola.

New10NBC’s Berkeley Brean: Take me and our viewers inside the courtroom yesterday and Dominic Pezzola was on the stand. What was it like?

Kyle Cheney, Politico: Right away his lawyer said, ‘Tell me about that moment with the shield and the window’ and he got right into it I think because he knows everyone in America pretty much knows about that moment.

Cheney says Pezzola was contrite.

Kyle Cheney, Politico: He actually said, ‘Look I was stupid. I shouldn’t have done that. I shouldn’t have filmed the very brash video I filmed inside the Capitol. There’s a lot of things I shouldn’t have done that day.’

Cheney says Pezzola portrayed himself as a hero, protecting protestors from police. Then he got questioned by the prosecutor.

Kyle Cheney, Politico: That was extremely combative. … He (Pezzola) was ready to brawl with the prosecutor.

Brean: Why do you think the prosecutor was OK with that?

Kyle Cheney, Politico: When they see him get angry I think that plays into the prosecutor’s narrative that this is someone who has a short, quick trigger or a short fuse and can’t conceive as to why we would be upset that he took what amounted to the most critical action that day involving the breech of the Capitol.

Last June, Pezzola was arraigned on the seditious conspiracy charge, defined as “conspiring against the authority or legitimacy of the state. As a form of sedition, it has been described as a serious but lesser counterpart to treason.”

The trial began nearly three months ago. News10NBC emailed Pezzola’s lawyer and asked why he testified. He did not respond. The closing arguments could start next week.