WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) — A Wake Forest man who investigators say recorded a first-person perspective of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 turned himself in and was charged with several offenses.
Stephen Ethan Horn, turned himself in to authorities on Friday and was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, disorderly and disruptive conduct on Capitol grounds, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
On or about Jan. 11, court documents say that an individual who knew Horn for “several years” notified the FBI that he was in a photo on a New York Times Magazine social media post. A second person who knew Horn positively identified him as the person in the photo as well and said that they believed Horn was inside of the Capitol as a journalist, despite not having any media credentials.
The photo below, provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigations depicts Horn dressed in a black helmet, black jacket, black gloves and a backpack holding a cellphone:
On Jan. 11, a special agent of the FBI viewed Horn’s Facebook account and confirmed that the name and profile photo was consistent with the photo on his NC driver’s license. A public post on Horn’s Facebook page appeared to show him inside of the Capitol on Jan. 6, court documents say.
Specifically, investigators say Horn’s Facebook page had a two-hour-long video, later downloaded by the FBI, depicting the scene inside of the Capitol which was posted on Jan. 7 with the caption “I was in DC today when the capitol was stormed.”
Investigators say the posted noted several observations about what happened inside of the Capitol that day.
Horn followed up by saying on the post, “I did not enter the capitol building as part of the protest, or for cheap thrills, but to accurately document and record a significant event which was taking place.”
Investigators say though the voice heard on the video does not clearly depict who is filming the video, the voice can be heard several times and is consistent with the voice heard during subsequent conversations Horn had with the FBI.
The video shows Horn’s first-person perspective as he entered the Capitol, exited the Capitol, reentered the Capitol, walked upstairs inside the Capitol, and eventually entered the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
On Jan. 19, Facebook responded to a search warrant for Horn’s Facebook account which investigators found out was associated and consistent with the name and approximate age for him. Additionally, the most recent IP address resolved to Wake Forest where Horn lives.
In records retrieved from Facebook, investigators say Horn made numerous statements about being in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Horn was accused of saying things like: “I did not witness police doing any property damage, but I did see some in the crowd stop others in the crowd from doing property damage, or exhorting others not to do so, even in Nancy Pelosi’s office”; “I was on the front lines of the assault on the capitol”; “I thought it was important to document the event”; “I followed the crowd in. I was not there when they broke through most of the barriers around the outside of capitol. I was not looking for Pelosi’s office, I guess it was just happened to be right there (probably gets one of the best offices).”
Horn voluntarily interviewed with the FBI on Feb. 24, admitting to being at the Capitol and admitting that he stepped over a fence on the ground that warned trespassers not to go past before entering the building.
He also confirmed that he stood on a monument inside the Capitol with one hand on the wall and his other hand holding a cellphone and confirmed wearing a helmet inside of the Capitol consistent with his appearance in the photo above.
Horn had his first court appearance on Friday and was “released on conditions”, according to documents sent to CBS 17.