By Heidi Beedle
Rebecca Lavrenz of Colorado Springs was arrested Monday, Dec. 19, in connection with her participation at the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection. Lavrenz is facing four charges, according to a September arrest warrant: entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.
“On April 26, 2021, FBI agents conducted a consensual interview with Lavrenz at her home,” reads the criminal complaint. “She admitted traveling to Washington, D.C. to attend the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally on the mall and, on January 6, 2021, following the crowd to the U.S. Capitol building. As she approached the U.S. Capitol from the east, Lavrenz observed physical barriers indicating that the U.S. Capitol building grounds were a restricted area. As the crowd grew, Lavrenz observed people getting into physical confrontations with police, pushing on the barriers as the police pushed back. She saw a woman get injured in the exchange. When a man finally succeeded in pushing past a barrier and entering the U.S. Capitol, Lavrenz observed that none of the police officers chased him. When the crowd eventually pushed aside the barriers, allowing people to stream through the main door of the U.S. Capitol on the East side, Lavrenz followed and entered as well. Lavrenz stated that she spent approximately ten minutes inside the U.S. Capitol and described her path as roaming from the East center entrance to the Rotunda and back, exiting through the same door she entered. Lavrenz also provided agents with [the photo seen here] of herself at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, identifying herself as the only person facing the camera and wearing a red scarf and a white hat.”
Lavrenz was released on a personal recognizance bond and required to turn in her passport within two business days.
Members of the “grassroots” faction of the El Paso County Republican party organized a protest for Lavrenz outside of a Denver Courthouse Dec. 19.
“This is a person I’ve known for a little while,” said El Paso County GOP Chair Vickie Tonkins during a Dec. 14 appearance on the Conservative Daily podcast. “She would give you the shirt off her back. She is just a giving, praying grandmother who went to the capital and her only reason for going in that building — after being let in — was to pray. She wanted to pray for the elected officials. She wanted to pray for our country. That’s what she did. If that’s a crime then they need to come lock me up.”
Michael Lavrenz, her son, shared a post to Facebook on Monday. “As many of you know, myself, my oldest son and my mom were all part of the ‘peaceful protest’ that turned violent on January 6th almost two years ago,” he wrote. “After being questioned by an unnamed, three letter organization, both my case and my son’s cases were dropped as neither one of us went into the building. (Apparently they are only pressing charges against people that entered the building) That being said, you may or may not know that my mom, who is now 70 years old, entered the building. She was [waved] into the building by a police officer along with everyone else who entered. The security cameras have her entering and exiting 3½ minutes later. All the while recording on her phone in the building peacefully. This morning, she is being arrested by the corrupt organization and being charged wrongfully. They will more than likely put handcuffs on her arms and ankles along with a jumpsuit as they fingerprint her and take her mug shot then place her in a cell by herself for a few hours before she goes before a judge. This whole situation is wrong on so many levels. We have the right as Americans to peacefully protest for whatever we believe in. There is absolutely no reason that she should be being arrested this morning. Our first amendment rights are being slowly taken away. Please pray for peace in her heart, a swift release and that God would guide her through the process and an amazing testimony would come out of this. I’m extremely proud of her and I know she believes she did the right thing.”
A review of Rebecca Lavrenz’s social media shows that she was a supporter of far-right conservative activist group FEC United, encouraging people to attend the group’s Aug. 25, 2020, launch event. She also shared content from the slate of “grassroots” candidates in El Paso County, such as Peter Lupia, who ran unsuccessfully for El Paso County Clerk, and Rep. Dave Williams (R-Colorado Springs), who ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) in the Republican primary, as well as embattled Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters, who ran unsuccessfully against Pam Anderson in the primary for Colorado Secretary of State. Additionally, Lavrenz shared posts from Seven Mountain Mandate dominionists like Lance Wallnau and Mario Murillo. In February, Lavrenz attended one of Andrew Wommack’s Truth and Liberty events in Colorado Springs, posing for a photo with faux-historian David Barton and Bethany Graupner, wife of Fervent Church pastor and FEC United affiliate Garret Graupner. Lavrenz also praised her daughter Laura, who worked as a special assistant to Republican National Chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel.
A review of social media also shows that the Lavrenz family has close ties with Tyler Ethridge, a graduate of Wommack’s Charis Bible who was charged with six counts related to his conduct on Jan. 6, including civil disorder and disorderly conduct.
According to the statement of facts in Ethridge’s case, “Ethridge stated during the interview that in the fall of 2020, he traveled with his wife and daughter to visit friends in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Ethridge advised that a friend, Person-1, offered him a paid-for, roundtrip plane ticket and Airbnb stay to attend former President Donald Trump’s rally in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021.”
Lavrenz’s social media is full of photos from regular vacations in distant locations.
According to the statement, “On January 4, 2021, Ethridge, Person-1, and Person-1’s son flew from Denver International Airport to Philadelphia International Airport on a redeye flight that landed on January 5, 2021. The threesome then rented a car and drove to Washington, D.C. to meet Person-2, who helped Person-1 organize the trip.”
FEC United founder Joe Oltmann was in Washington, D.C, on Jan. 5, addressing a crowd with a homemade diagram and a low-energy account of election conspiracies that a Denver judge described as “probably false” and “not credible.”
Video captured by Lavrenz’s grandson, Michael Lavrenz Jr., also a Charis graduate, shows Ethridge and Michael Lavrenz Sr. marching toward the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The statement notes, “On January 6, 2021, Ethridge, Person-1, Person-1’s son, and Person-2 took an Uber to the Washington Monument to attend the rally. Person-2 left the group to charge his phone and was not seen or heard from the rest of the day. Ethridge claimed that he could not hear the rally speakers clearly from his vantage point. Midway through former President Trump’s speech, Ethridge, Person-1, and Person-1’s son walked with the crowd to the U.S. Capitol Building. Open-source video captures Ethridge directly participating in the first breach of the Capitol’s perimeter fencing, helping remove the fencing erected on the northwest approach to the U.S. Capitol, and that fencing bore a large sign declaring ‘Area Closed.’ Ethridge thus facilitated the rioters’ breach of the U.S. Capitol.”
John Eastman, the former Trump lawyer and former visiting scholar for CU’s controversial Benson Center, was recently named in the Jan. 6 Committee’s criminal referrals. Shawn Smith, noted election denier and member of U.S. Election Integrity Project and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s Cause of America Project, also battled with police during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Five people died either shortly before, during, or following the Jan. 6 insurrection, in which the Lavrenz family participated. One person was shot by Capitol Police, another died of a drug overdose, and three died of natural causes. Many people were injured, including 138 police officers. Four officers who responded to the attack died by suicide within seven months.
This story was previously published by the Colorado Times Recorder.