Lawyers: Too early to determine defense for accused capitol rioters

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 3:18 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2021 at 6:33 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Hanahan couple charged in connection to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol Building have retained the legal services of Goldfinch Winslow Law Firm located in Pawley’s Island. A team of three lawyers will represent John Hurbert Getsinger Jr. and his wife Stacie Ann Hargis-Getsinger in federal court.

The Berkeley County couple was arrested on June 15 after the FBI obtained an arrest warrant. The pair are facing federal charges for disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a capitol building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a capitol building, a federal arrest warrant says.

Attorney Tom Winslow says they are still determining the best way to proceed. He says the case is too fresh too immediately come out and say they’ll be fighting the charges.

“There’s a number of times when I tell clients, look it’s sometimes my job to fight really hard and prove your innocence and sometimes you’re not innocent. Sometimes you’re guilty and it’s my job to help you move on from that scenario,” Winslow said. “When we learn all of the evidence, we’ll be able to speak with our clients and the government and work out a solution. If there isn’t a solution, then we’ll have to work that out at that time.”

The arrest warrant shows the FBI received tips from four sources, one claiming to be related to the Stacie Getsinger, all with information placing the pair in Washington D.C. during the Stop The Steal rally which turned into rioters breaking into the Capitol building. More than 500 people have already been arrested in connection to a series of criminal acts that day.

“I know there is some video from what I have heard. I know there’s some other stuff probably out there. Once we have that we will have a better understand of what’s best for everyone,” Winslow said. “The most important thing we can do for our country, for the federal government, for the Getsingers and other people like them is to truly learn the facts and figure out how can we get passed this and recover. It might be guilt. It might be innocence. It might be a plea. It might be a trial. Nobody knows.”

Those documents lay out some of the evidence against the Getsingers, including screen shots that appear to show the couple inside the building and Facebook messages from the Getsingers that indication they were there.

One such Facebook posted listed in the arrest warrant shows Stacie Getsinger claiming to have entered the building after others forced their way inside.

“. . . The Capital [sic] bldg is the peoples house. WE the citizens own it,” Stacie Getsigner wrote. “Once it was stormed we also went inside.”

Federal agents also gained access to private messages in which John Getsinger admits is talking about walking around inside the building.

“Yep and yell a lot,” John Getsinger writes suggesting they were pushed in by the crowd. “Stacie Getsinger thinks we are going to jail.”

Winslow says they represent all kind of challenging clients and this case is no different in that regard. He says people need to remember that the Getsingers are innocent until proven guilty.

“To jump to a conclusion just simply means you are unwilling to hear the evidence,” Winslow says. “I really encourage everyone to listen to the evidence and to at least reflect upon it with an open mind before reaching any conclusion.”

Goldfinch Winslow is operated by Republican State Senator Stephen L. Goldfinch and attorney Tom Winslow.

John Getsinger, Jr. and Stacie Hargis-Getsinger appeared in federal court in Charleston.
John Getsinger, Jr. and Stacie Hargis-Getsinger appeared in federal court in Charleston. (CCDC)

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