Medford woman known as Ayla Wolf to soon hear fate for 'commander' role in Capitol riot

A prosecution filing alleges to show Stephanie Hazelton of Medford during the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A Medford woman who took part in the Capitol riot left the disturbance with a finger broken by a police officer’s baton, court filings say.

Now, 51-year-old Stephanie Hazelton could face another painful consequence of her actions at the January 2021 insurrection.

A federal prosecutor wants a judge to sentence Hazelton to 11 months in prison, along with a $10,000 fine.

In a court filing, the prosecutor asserts Hazelton acted “like a commander on the battlefield,” shouting for “more men” and “more helmets” as she urged others to push past police officers guarding the Capitol.

But Hazelton’s attorney argues against prison in a rival sentencing memorandum.

More: Father, son await sentencing Three from South Jersey admit to taking part in Capitol riot

That filing acknowledges Hazelton “shouted words of encouragement to rioters," but adds she "deeply regrets her conduct and apologizes to the law enforcement officers who struggled in that chaotic scene."

Stephanie Hazelton seeks lighter sentence for Capitol riot

Hazelton should be sentenced to no more than three months of home detention, two years on probation, and a “significant” fine, says defense attorney Nicholas D. Smith of New York City.

Smith’s filing says Hazelton survived a difficult childhood, including life in a religious commune with no plumbing, electricity, heat or phones.

She now dedicates “virtually all of her time” to two home-schooled sons, ages 11 and 12, with special needs that require the mother’s constant attention, the filing says.

The prosecution's filing by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Amore acknowledges the family’s challenges.

“But sadly, crime carries consequences,” writes Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Amore.

He observes Hazelton’s “family circumstances also did not stop or prevent her involvement in the riot in the first place."

Hazelton, also known as Ayla Wolf, became more politically active during the pandemic and attended "medical freedom" rallies in New Jersey, according to letters of support that accompany her memorandum.

She recorded her approach to the Capitol with her cellphone, at one point saying, “This is battle. This is it. This is the battle.”

The prosecution says Hazelton repeatedly went into a Capital entranceway tunnel where rioters were assaulting police officers in a bid to overturn the election of President Joe Biden.

At one point, Amore’s filing says, Hazelton stood at the front of a mob that used strobe lights to hamper officers’ vision and struck at them with poles and batons.

It contends Hazelton should get the prison term because her presence in the entranceway “contributed to the massive number of rioters who pushed against and assaulted ... officers for nearly two hours ... ”

But her attorney notes Hazelton never entered the Capitol itself, did not make physical contact with officers and did not destroy any property. He also says no direct link connects Hazelton's words to a specific assault on any officer.

The defense filing says a police officer struck Hazelton with a baton while she was crouching with her hands over her head outside the entranceway.

It says an injury to Hazelton's finger required reconstructive surgery.

Capitol rioters used strobe lights, batons and poles

The prosecution notes Hazelton wore tactical gloves while accompanying members of the New Jersey Sons of Liberty on the day of the riot. Others in the group wore tactical gloves and vests, and carried riot shields.

One day later, the filing says, Hazelton wrote, “The first shot has been fired of the revolution.

But Hazelton later tried to conceal her actions, saying “I never came close to going in and I never saw any violence from the people," according to the prosecution filing.

Hazelton, who was arrested 16 days after the riot, pleaded guilty in October 2022 to a charge of civil disorder and aiding and abetting.

The prosecution also wants Hazelton to pay $2,000 in restitution for damage caused by rioters and to spend 36 months on supervised release.

Jim Walsh is a senior reporter with the Courier-Post, Burlington County Times and The Daily Journal. Email him at

This article originally appeared on Cherry Hill Courier-Post: Ayla Wolf, Capitol riot suspect from Medford, awaits sentence