WATE 6 On Your Side

East TN pastor shares insight on parishioner charged after Jan. 6

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — It’s been 485 days since the 2021 Capitol attack and federal authorities continue to track down people they believe were involved.

Edward Kelley, 33, of Maryville, was arrested Thursday and made his first court appearance in Knoxville. He is charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers, civil disorder, destruction of government property, and several related offenses.

“It is interesting to see the government trying to figure out what each individual’s culpability is,” WATE’s legal analyst, Greg Issacs said.

According to FBI agents, Kelley used a piece of wood to break a window next to the Senate Wing door and was the fourth person to breach the Capitol.

Issacs said, “When you see people actually breach the capitol and enter the Capitol, that can carry penalties up to 10 to 20 years.”

Kelley is being accused of kicking the Senate Wing door open after gaining entry to the Capitol through the window he allegedly broke which allowed other rioters to enter. Court documents reveal the FBI interviewed Kelley twice last June and he told agents he didn’t enter the building. But prosecutors say images of Kelley in the Capitol paint a different story.

Ken Peters, the pastor of The Church at Planned Parenthood (TCAPP)-Knoxville says he helped get Kelley a ride to DC.

“I connected him with one of our church folks who I knew had a spot and yeah that was it,” Peters said. “I didn’t see him after that until quite a while.”

Peters reports Kelley was not a member of his church but did see Kelley at church events in the Knoxville area every so often. Peters described Kelley as a nice guy.

Images from prosecutors show Kelley wearing a TCAPP sweatshirt while he was in DC last January. The pastor and a group from TCAPP-Knoxville were also in the nation’s capital on January 6 for Trump’s ‘Save America Rally.’

“I was so cold after Trump’s speech. I went up to my hotel and warmed up with some folks. I was doing an interview with the press as well and we ate pizza during the riots,” Peters said. “We as a church, we as a pro-life movement do not endorse anything in the flesh. Anything physical, anything violent of any kind. TCAPP is about worship, prayer, about preaching, that’s our motto.”

Before breaching the Capitol, authorities believe Kelley and two other men threw a Capitol police officer to the ground.

“These cases aren’t as cut and dry often as they appear but a lot of variations. At the end of the day, the penalties in federal court are very severe and they’re treated very severely by federal agents,” Issacs said.

Agents suspect Kelley was in the Capitol for about 40 minutes on January 6. We will continue to follow his case as it makes it way through the courts.