January 6 Capitol rioter Matthew Lawrence Perna dies by suicide while awaiting sentencing

A Pennsylvania man awaiting sentencing for his role in the Capitol riot died last week by suicide, according to his obituary. “Matthew Lawrence Perna passed away on February 25, 2022 of a broken heart,” his family wrote. “His community (which he loved), his country and the justice system killed his spirit and his zest for life.” Perna, 37, pleaded guilty late last year to four counts related to the insurgency, including one count of obstructing an official process. Perna entered the Capitol on January 6, filming with his phone and chanting “USA!” His family said in their obituary that he attended the rally and riot to “peacefully defend his beliefs”. Perna was due to be sentenced on April 1 and faced up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to The Independent. “The constant delays in hearings and adjournments lasted for over a year,” his family wrote. “Because of this, Matt’s heart broke and his spirit died and many people are responsible for the pain he endured.”

If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

Read it on Pittsburgh Post Gazette