Will sent us an update to tell his story, in his own words:
"My name is Will Watson. I'm one of the more recognizable Jan 6ers. You've probably seen me next to Jacob Chansley in numerous pictures, as well as videos of me inside the Capitol trying to convey messages of peace.
I wrote this message from the Alexandria Detention Center, VA. I was locked up there since Nov 18, 2022. Before that I was on strict ankle monitoring (home, work, and grocery store), since May 5, 2021. Before that, I was locked up in Lee County Jail, AL, since Jan 11, 2021. My life has been a constant struggle since taking part in that fateful day. Jail in AL was a nightmare. I spent nearly the entire first month locked in a cell, without commissary, books, radio, TV, or showers more than twice a week. I was constantly harassed by the guards who called me a racist. Multiple times I was woken up in the middle of the night with a taser being activated inches from my face. I almost got beat up once or twice, but thankfully most of my fellow inmates weren't bad folk. Sleeping was nearly impossible due to drug addicts constantly yelling throughout the night, and we were very much underfed. Maybe 1200cal a day.
My surroundings improved significantly after I was given bond on the condition I wear an ankle monitor, but my life hardly got easier. I was required to pay $330 a month for the monitoring. My passion is in the kitchen, where I thankfully didn't struggle to find work, but I was piling up debt due to low wages and the inability to find a side hustle because everyone knew who I was and why I had the ankle monitor on. To this day, I am in debt with no money in my bank account. At one point, I had to rely on friends to pay my way for a month, when Wells Fargo closed my account without notice.
This past November, I was made to pay my own way to DC for a stipulated trial, at which I was detained without warning. The judge told me he believed I was one of the most dangerous criminals in America. I was thrown into solitary confinement on a cell block with murders and child rapists. I put in a request for reclassification to Gen Pop, but the request was trashed I never even got a receipt.
While solitary has been rough, it has been a blessing in some ways. I was given the time and the tribulations I needed to rekindle my relationship with Christ, which I am ever grateful for. The Lord has protected me here and given me a peace that I don't even understand. I am able to lean on Him in all my struggles, and He helps me see that this is all in His plan for me. I've also had time to work on plans to start a fine-dining catering company, which I am very excited to pursue.
It will be quite some time before I can do that, however. Even with my sentencing guidelines being 10-16 months, I was just sentenced to 36 months. The prosecutor told countless lies about my personal life, showed silent footage of me while spinning what actually happened (me fist-bumping police was me being aggressive and intimidating, etc.), and the judge told me he doesn't believe I've changed at all. Even taking my first child, who was born 12 weeks premature on Dec 28, into account, he felt I needed to miss out on her first 3 years of life. Because of the corrupt DC courts and my corrupt, biased judge, I will miss my daughter's first words and first steps. I will be unable to work to provide for her. And even when I can in the future, I have to pay $12000 to replace a single window pane that I didn't even break.
Life will be hard for me for a while, but I want all of you to know how important your support has been and will continue to be. Every letter I have received from a patriot, every Bible verse, and every phone call I've had with y'all has carried me through this. Knowing we aren't given up on is crucial. It can be so lonely sometimes, and being broke in jail is torture. All of your donations and prayers have given me the strength to continue. God bless you all, and God bless our USA.