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Utahn called ‘violent participant’ in Jan. 6 goes to trial

Posted at 10:16 PM, Jun 16, 2024

SALT LAKE CITY — A bench trial begins Monday for a Uinta Basin man charged with assaulting police during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Odin Meacham, a 30-year-old from Myton, has pleaded not guilty to eight counts, including the most serious charges — two counts of assaulting, resisting, and impeding certain officers, using a deadly or dangerous weapon. Both those counts carry up to 20 years in prison.

“The defendant, Odin Meacham, was a violent participant in the breach of the Capitol on January 6,” prosecutors wrote in a trial brief. “On January 6 itself, the defendant was involved in numerous pivotal moments that allowed rioters to overtake police lines, breach the building, and halt the election’s certification.”

Video footage captured Meacham swinging a wooden pole at one officer, throwing a metal pole at another and trying to take a baton from a third officer, prosecutors went on to write.

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Odin Meacham seen in bodycam footage at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

In their own filings, Meacham’s attorneys have made technical arguments contending that the government must show their client intended to injure officers and impede the certification. The defense has also questioned whether the poles constituted deadly or dangerous weapons.

It’s not clear how quickly the judge will issue a verdict.

Prosecutors say Meacham and his then-19-year-old nephew drove 30 hours to reach Washington for the Jan. 6, 2021, “Stop the Steal” rally. The nephew, Nejourde Meacham, was charged with nonviolent offenses stemming from the riot. According to court filings and an obituary, he died last year while awaiting trial.

A website shows Odin Meacham as an MMA fighter with a 6-1 record, although it lists his last fight having taken place in 2014.

Sixteen Utahns have been charged with crimes related to the insurrection. Thirteen have been convicted. There have been no complete acquittals.