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A Capitol riot defendant who pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor after initially facing roughly 20 years in prison for a felony charge told The Daily Wire that she spent close to $70,000 on legal fees, plus the $5,500 she was ordered to pay to the government. The defendant said in an interview that this combined amount is what she nearly makes annually as a florist.
Jenny Cudd, who was charged under a statute in the U.S. code with obstruction and four other charges, was sentenced to two months probation in March. She pleaded guilty to entering and remaining in a restricted building, a trespass offense, after her involvement in the January 6 Capitol riot.
Cudd, a 37-year-old flower shop owner in Midland, Texas, was handed the sentence by U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden. McFadden is the same judge that acquitted Capitol riot defendant Matthew Martin, a former government contractor at a nuclear weapons laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, on Wednesday of all charges.
The florist, who also ran for Mayor in Midland in 2019, spent about 19 minutes in the Capitol. She entered through the same doors and at the same time as January 6 defendant Brady Knowlton, who The Daily Wire reported is facing roughly 20 years in prison. Both walked by police officers and were nonviolent.
“The police just stood by and let everybody inside — and since that happened — everybody has been charged with horrible charges that can land you in prison for decades,” Cudd told The Daily Wire.
Cudd’s lawyer, Marina Medvin, said after her client’s sentencing that “nothing could have prepared her for what followed” and that she “became the punching bag of social media and recipient of endless abuse and defamation by mainstream media.” An MSNBC opinion columnist notably published a story in February claiming that Cudd’s case “proves white privilege defines our justice system” after the defendant was granted a request by Judge McFadden to travel.
Cudd said that it has not been easy paying the bills, especially after she says two defense funds for her, on the platforms GoFundMe and GiveSendGo, were shut down. The florist says she has taken out loans to cover her shop.
“I’ve had several people come by the shop, and people that know me, that have donated some money,” said Cudd. “I was grateful that I had saved up quite a bit of money. That cost over time gets to where it affects the business. I’ve had to take out some capital loans for the shop to make sure that we can keep operating business as usual.”
On the heels of January 6, GoFundMe announced that it was banning all fundraising for political event travel that may have a “risk of violence.” Cudd says that after her defense fund was shut down she migrated to GiveSendGo — which, after several days, shut down her fundraiser at $1,895. She says GiveSendGo reactivated her defense fund in March.
GoFundMe and GiveSendGo did not respond to requests for comment.
Cudd expressed satisfaction that she avoided jail time and was appreciative of her attorney, Medvin. Prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence her to 75 days in jail, one year of supervised release, and 60 hours of community service, but she said she is still “frustrated to write another large check to the government,” referencing the $5,000 fine.
Cudd, however, noted that there are defendants who have been put in arguably more difficult situations. She claimed some “have had to sell their business and home” just to get enough money for a lawyer — noting that January 6 defendants have been communicating about such issues in Telegram group chats.
Asked about the acquittal of Matthew Martin this week — which Alan Dershowitz told The Daily Wire is “enormously important” in the context of his defense of Brady Knowlton — Cudd called it a “major win for January ‘6ers.”
“It does set a precedent and will hopefully help an enormous amount of people to prove what has been called a ‘conspiracy theory,’ up until the case yesterday, that police opened the [Capitol] doors,” she said.
On Thursday, Judge McFadden issued a motion to remove the firearm restriction for Cudd while on supervision.
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