KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — One of two East Tennessee men who were charged after they allegedly planned to attack the FBI Knoxville has pleaded guilty.
Austin Carter, 26, of Knoxville, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder employees of the United States. According to the plea agreement, Carter and his co-defendant, Edward Kelley, conspired to murder employees of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who were investigating the inspection on January 6.
On December 3, 2022, Kelley, Carter and a cooperating witness allegedly discussed collecting information and plans to kill FBI employees. Later in the month, Carter gave the witness a list of the FBI employees that he received from Kelley according to the agreement. He told the witness to memorize the list and then burn it.
However, instead of destroying the witness gave the list to the Maryville Police Department. Prosecutors claim the list contained around 37 names, positions, and some phone numbers of the law enforcement personnel who participated in investigating Kelley.
Kelley and Carter also discussed plans to attack the FBI Field Office in Knoxville. Several of these plans were secretly recorded by the witness according to court documents.
Kelley pleaded not guilty in court earlier this year. His trial is set to begin on January 16, 2024. Federal prosecutors said he was the fourth person to enter the capitol on January 6, 2021.
Both Carter and Kelley are being represented by Defense Attorney Josh Hedrick, who, according to Knox Defense, has been working in criminal defense since 2006.