U.S.

Virginia police officer convicted for involvement in capitol protest faces eight many years


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Federal prosecutors are recommending an eight-calendar year jail sentence for an off-duty Virginia police officer who was convicted by a jury of storming the U.S. Capitol to impede Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory.

Previous Rocky Mount Law enforcement Sgt. Thomas Robertson used his regulation enforcement instruction to block law enforcement officers who have been attempting to guard the Capitol from a mob’s assault on Jan. 6, 2021, prosecutors said in a courtroom submitting Thursday supporting their sentencing recommendation.

“Rather of making use of his education and ability to boost the general public very good, he attempted to overthrow the governing administration,” they wrote.

An 8-12 months prison sentence would be the longest amid hundreds of Capitol riot instances. The lengthiest so far is seven decades and three months for Male Reffitt, a Texas man who attacked the Capitol whilst armed with a holstered handgun.

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U.S. District Decide Christopher Cooper is scheduled to sentence Robertson next Thursday. Prosecutors also questioned the choose to sentence Robertson to 3 yrs of supervised release right after any prison time period.

Robertson’s lawyer, Mark Rollins, is searching for a sentence down below a sentencing rules variety of 27 to 33 months of imprisonment. Prosecutors estimate a sentencing guidelines array of 87 months to 108 months, but Cooper isn’t bound by any of individuals estimates or tips.

Robertson failed to testify at his trial prior to a jury convicted him in April of all six counts in his indictment, such as expenses that he interfered with police officers at the Capitol and that he entered a restricted region with a unsafe weapon, a significant picket adhere.

Robertson’s attorneys stated the U.S. Army veteran was working with the stick to help him wander mainly because he has a limp from finding shot in the proper thigh while doing work as a personal contractor for the U.S. Defense Division in Afghanistan in 2011.

In their sentencing memo, prosecutors accused Robertson of lying about his navy provider. Robertson identified himself on his resume as a U.S. Army Ranger school graduate, but his formal army data do not help that declare, prosecutors claimed. They said Robertson also lied to a reporter about receiving a Purple Coronary heart.

Federal prosecutors are recommending an eight-year prison sentence for an off-duty Virginia police officer who was convicted of storming the U.S. Capitol. 

Federal prosecutors are recommending an eight-12 months jail sentence for an off-duty Virginia police officer who was convicted of storming the U.S. Capitol. 
(WHD Photograph/John Minchillo, File)

Robertson’s jury trial was the second for a Capitol riot case. Reffitt’s was the to start with. Jurors have unanimously convicted seven riot defendants of all expenses in their respective indictments.

Robertson traveled to Washington, D.C., on the early morning of Jan. 6 with co-worker Jacob Fracker and a third male, a neighbor. Fracker also was an off-responsibility Rocky Mount law enforcement officer. He was scheduled to be attempted along with Robertson prior to he pleaded guilty to a conspiracy demand and agreed to cooperate with authorities.

Fracker testified at Robertson’s trial that he to begin with thought that he was just trespassing when he entered the Capitol building. But he ultimately pleaded guilty to conspiring with Robertson to impede Congress.

Robertson’s legal professionals conceded that he broke the legislation when he entered the Capitol in the course of the riot. They encouraged jurors to convict Robertson of misdemeanor offenses but acquit him of felony charges.

Jurors noticed some of Robertson’s posts on social media before and soon after the Capitol riot. In a Facebook post on Nov. 7, 2020, Robertson said “staying disenfranchised by fraud is my hard line.”

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“I’ve expended most of my adult existence combating a counter insurgency. (I’m) about to become part of one, and a quite successful a person,” he wrote.

In a letter resolved to the choose, Robertson said he takes whole responsibility for his steps on Jan. 6 and “any lousy conclusions I made.” He blamed the vitriolic content of his social media posts on a mix of strain, alcoholic beverages abuse and “submersion in deep ‘rabbit holes’ of election conspiracy principle.”

“I sat all over at night time drinking too considerably and reacting to posts and internet sites offered to me by Fb” algorithms, he wrote.

The town fired Robertson and Fracker just after the riot. Rocky Mount is about 25 miles south of Roanoke and has approximately 5,000 people.

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Robertson has been jailed because Cooper ruled very last year that he violated the terms of his pretrial launch by possessing firearms.

About 850 folks have been charged with federal crimes for their carry out on Jan. 6. About 350 of them have pleaded responsible, mainly to misdemeanor offenses, and over 220 have been sentenced so considerably.

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