Washington — The previous New York Police Division officer convicted of assaulting regulation enforcement throughout the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol was sentenced to 10 years in jail, a federal choose dominated Thursday, the longest jail sentence up to now imposed within the sprawling investigation.
Thomas Webster, who can be a Marine Corps veteran, was convicted by a juryon a number of prices stemming from his membership within the mob, together with assaulting officers and violent and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Mehta handed down a sentence of 120 months in jail and 36 months of supervised launch, in deference to Webster’s 25 years of service as a police officer and Marine and and his later signaling of regret for his actions.
Webster was launched on 24-hour dwelling detention following the responsible verdicts, however prosecutors requested Decide Amit Mehta to impose the stiffest sentence but — as much as 210 months behind bars — within the lots of of Jan. 6 prosecutions which have made it to sentencing.
In courtroom paperwork filed forward of Thursday’s sentencing, the Justice Division argued Webster “spearheaded” a breach towards the police line on the Capitol’s west entrance and was accountable for “disgracing a democracy that he as soon as fought honorably to guard and serve.”
“However his background and coaching, Webster didn’t attempt to de-escalate the scenario or go away the premises,” the federal government wrote, “As a substitute, he led the cost. Webster spent eight minutes elbowing his approach by way of the densely packed crowd in order that he may place himself on the entrance of the mob.”
However in pre-sentencing paperwork of his personal, Webster disavowed claims of fraud within the 2020 election and included a letter of assist from a pal who blames former President Trump for “despicable lies.”
Noting the defendant turned himself in to investigators shortly after the assault, Webster’s protection legal professional James Monroe conceded that his consumer’s crimes have been “unmistakably violent and reprehensible,” however requested the courtroom to think about his historical past as a father, officer, and Marine.
In courtroom on Thursday, Mehta urged the general public to think about Webster’s case within the context of ongoing threats to democracy.
“We merely can not have a rustic the place individuals on the shedding facet of an election assume you need to use violence to alter the outcome,” he stated.
“You contributed to one of many darkest days within the historical past of the nation,” Mehta informed Webster.
Webster’s sentencing, which was decrease than the utmost, acknowledged the defendant’s prior service. “I do not assume you’re a unhealthy individual. I believe you bought caught up within the second,” Mehta stated. “And getting caught up within the second has penalties.”
Webster’s trial spanned 4 days and hinged on conflicting accounts of the altercation between Webster and District of Columbia police officer Noah Rathbun outdoors the Capitol constructing on Jan. 6.
Prosecutors stated that on the morning of the assault, Webster made his technique to the entrance of the group of Trump supporters assembled on the regulation enforcement perimeter meant to guard the lawmakers contained in the Capitol.
After crossing onto restricted grounds, the federal government alleged Webster yelled at one in every of officers, “You f***ing piece of shit. You f***ing Commie motherf***ers, man.” He then allegedly used the flagpole towards the officer, swinging over the police line.
The federal government accused Webster of tackling Rathbun to the bottom, pushing towards his fuel masks, and finally pinning the officer to the group, assaults that have been captured on police bodycam and open-source movies.
“He threw me to the bottom,” Rathbun informed the jury. “I did not provoke this encounter.
However Webster’s description of the occasion was far totally different — he claimed he was the sufferer of a “rogue” police officer who had “punched” him within the face, a declare Rathbun flatly denied.
Mehta later referred to as this account “completely fanciful” forward of sentencing Thursday. Webster, visibly emotional, apologized to Rathbun, who was within the room on the time.
In the end, the jury solely took hours to conclude in any other case, discovering Webster responsible on all counts.