WASHINGTON, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Jan. 6, 2021 A leader of the far-right Proud Boys was sentenced to 18 years in prison and another member was sentenced to 10 years in prison for an attack by supporters on the US Capitol. Donald Trump’s.
One of the group’s leaders, Ethan Nordian, was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Nordian was convicted of treasonous conspiracy and other offences.
“If we don’t have a peaceful transition of power in this country, we don’t have anything,” said U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly.
In a statement to the judge, Nordien called Jan. 6 a “complete and utter tragedy” and said he went to the Capitol to be a leader and keep people out of trouble. “While it’s true that I sincerely regret what I did that day, what I still regret is not being a great leader,” he said.
Nick Smith, Nordean’s lawyer, argued for a sentence of between 15 and 21 months.
Earlier on Friday, Dominic Pesola, a member of the non-leadership group and the only defendant among the five acquitted of the treason plot, shouted, “Trump won!” He left the courtroom following his own sentencing.
Pesola was sentenced to 10 years in prison after a jury convicted him of other charges, including obstructing official proceedings and assaulting police.
Although Pezzola was found not guilty of sedition, prosecutors said his attack on former Capitol Police Officer Mark Ott, in which he stole Ott’s riot gear and used it to smash a window in the Capitol, helped justify a long prison sentence.
Pezzola’s attorneys had asked for their client to be sentenced to about five years in prison, and said in their sentencing memo that he had already spent three years awaiting trial. Steven Metcalf, one of Pezzola’s attorneys, told the judge that Pezzola got caught up in the “heat of the moment.”
“I stand before you with a contrite heart,” Bezola said in an emotional speech before the judge, in which he apologized to Ott and sent lewd comments to his wife and two daughters. “I should never have crossed the barrier in the Capitol that day.”
The government sought a 20-year sentence for Pesola and 27 years for Nordien.
Kelly on Thursday sentenced two other former Proud Boys leaders, Joseph Biggs and Zachary Rehl, to 17 years and 15 years in prison, respectively.
Thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol following a speech in which the Republican Party falsely claimed the November 2020 election loss was the result of widespread fraud. Trump has continued to make those false claims even as he leads the 2024 Republican nomination to challenge Democratic President Joe Biden.
Five people, including a police officer, died and more than 140 police officers were injured during or shortly after the riots. Capital suffered millions of dollars in damage.
More than 1,100 people have been arrested on charges related to the capital attack. Of those, more than 630 have pleaded guilty and at least 110 have been convicted at trial.
Former Proud Boys leader Enrique Dario will be sentenced on September 5. The government is asking for a 33-year sentence.
Sarah N. in Washington. Reporting by Lynch and Mahiny Price; Editing by Scott Malone, Grant McCool, Jonathan Otis and Cynthia Osterman
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Reports on the US Congress
Sarah N. Lynch is Reuters’ lead reporter covering the U.S. Justice Department outside Washington, D.C. During her time at the Beatle, she covered everything from the aftermath of the George Floyd protests to the Mueller report and the use of federal agents to suppress protesters. The department’s cases follow the murder, the widespread spread of COVID-19 in prisons and the January 6 attack on the US capital.