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7 years in prison for ex-policeman who rioted at US Capitol | US Elections 2020 Information

A former Virginia police sergeant who joined Donald Trump’s supporters in storming america Capitol on January 6, 2021, was once sentenced to seven years and 3 months in jail, matching the longest jail sentence to this point amongst masses of Capitol insurrection instances.

Former Rocky Mount Police Sergeant Thomas Robertson declined to handle the court docket prior to US District Pass judgement on Christopher Cooper sentenced him to seven years and 3 months in jail on Thursday. Cooper additionally sentenced Robertson to 3 years of supervised unencumber after his jail time period.

Federal prosecutors had beneficial an eight-year jail sentence for Robertson. His sentence equals that of Man Reffitt, a Texas guy who attacked the Capitol whilst armed with a holstered handgun.

Robertson will get credit score for the 13 months he has already spent in custody. Robertson has been jailed since Cooper dominated ultimate yr that he violated the phrases of his pretrial unencumber by means of possessing firearms.

The pass judgement on mentioned he was once stricken by means of Robertson’s habits since his arrest — now not simply his stockpiling of weapons but in addition his phrases advocating for violence. After January 6, Robertson instructed a pal that he was once ready to struggle and die in a civil battle, and he clung to baseless conspiracy theories that the 2020 election was once stolen from then President Donald Trump, the pass judgement on famous.

Sentencing tips calculated by means of Cooper beneficial a jail time period starting from seven years and 3 months to 9 years.

“It’s a very long time as it displays the seriousness of the offences that you just have been convicted of,” the pass judgement on mentioned.

In April, a jury convicted Robertson of attacking the Capitol to hinder Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential victory. Jurors discovered Robertson in charge of all six counts in his indictment, together with fees that he interfered with law enforcement officials on the Capitol and that he entered a limited house with a deadly weapon, a big wood stick.

Robertson’s attorneys mentioned the Military veteran was once the usage of the persist with lend a hand him stroll as a result of he has a limp from getting shot in the proper thigh whilst operating as a personal contractor for the Protection Division in Afghanistan in 2011.

The pass judgement on mentioned he agreed with jurors that Robertson went to the Capitol to intervene with the joint consultation of Congress on January 6.

Robertson was once an “lively and keen player,” now not “some bystander” who were given swept up within the crowd, Cooper mentioned.

Robertson travelled to Washington, DC, on that morning with every other off-duty Rocky Mount police officer, Jacob Fracker, and a 3rd guy, a neighbour who was once now not charged within the case.

He has been in detention since ultimate yr, after the pass judgement on discovered he violated court docket orders and persisted to shop for what prosecutors described as an “arsenal” of weapons on-line. FBI brokers additionally discovered a loaded M4 rifle and a in part assembled pipe bomb at his house all over a seek.

Robertson’s trial featured testimony from Fracker, who had reported to Robertson at the police power and entered the Capitol on January 6, 2021, with him, the place they took selfies in combination.

Prosecutors mentioned Robertson later destroyed the cellphones they’d used that day.

Fracker, who cooperated with the Justice Division, pleaded in charge to a legal rate of conspiracy in March and is because of be sentenced on August 16. In trade for his cooperation, prosecutors are asking the pass judgement on to condemn him to six-month probation with a situation of neighborhood confinement or house detention.

Prosecutors mentioned Robertson “expected violence” on January 6, and he packed fuel mask for himself and Fracker, in addition to army meals rations, water and a big wood stick.

Robertson “used his legislation enforcement coaching to dam Metropolitan Police Officials making an attempt to carry again the mob,” Federal Prosecutor Elizabeth Aloi wrote within the executive’s sentencing memo.

Robertson’s attorney, Mark Rollins, sought a jail sentence beneath two years and 3 months. He wondered the equity of the huge hole in sentences that prosecutors beneficial for Robertson and Fracker, given their identical habits.

Robertson served his nation and neighborhood with difference, his attorney instructed the pass judgement on.

“His existence already is in shambles,” Rollins mentioned.

Robertson and Fracker have been amongst a number of present or former legislation enforcement officials who joined in the insurrection. Prosecutors say Robertson used his legislation enforcement and army coaching to dam law enforcement officials who have been seeking to hang off the advancing mob.

Assistant US Lawyer Elizabeth Aloi mentioned Robertson was once ready for violence when he went to the Capitol and did a “victory lap” throughout the construction, the place he posed for a selfie with Fracker.

“The defendant is, by means of all accounts, pleased with his habits on January 6,” she mentioned.

Jurors noticed a few of Robertson’s posts on social media prior to and after the insurrection. In a Fb publish on November 7, 2020, Robertson mentioned “being disenfranchised by means of fraud is my onerous line”.

“I’ve spent maximum of my grownup existence preventing a counter insurgency. [I’m] about to develop into a part of one, and an overly efficient one,” he wrote.

In a letter addressed to the pass judgement on, Robertson mentioned he took complete duty for his movements on January 6 and “any deficient selections I made”. He blamed the vitriolic content material of his social media posts on a mixture of pressure, alcohol abuse and “submersion in deep ‘rabbit holes’ of election conspiracy principle”.

“I sat round at night time consuming an excessive amount of and reacting to articles and websites given to me by means of Fb” algorithms, he wrote.

Then again, he denied ever having “any aim to disrupt Congress” and claimed that Fracker in fact destroyed the cellphones, and later lied to the FBI and the court docket about it.

The small the city of Rocky Mount fired Robertson and Fracker after the insurrection.

More or less 850 other people had been charged with federal crimes for his or her habits on January 6. Greater than 350 of them have pleaded in charge, most commonly to misdemeanour offences, and greater than 230 had been sentenced to this point.

Robertson’s jury trial was once the second one for a Capitol insurrection case; Reffitt’s was once the primary. Jurors have unanimously convicted seven Capitol rioters of all fees of their respective indictments.


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