On Friday, a New Jersey gym owner and a Washington state man became the first defendants to plead guilty to assaulting law enforcement officers in the Jan.6 riot at the State Capitol -United.
The plea deals with federal prosecutors could be a benchmark for dozens of other similar cases stemming from the violent uprising. The two defendants each risk more than three years behind bars.
Scott Kevin Fairlamb, a 44-year-old mixed martial arts veteran from Stockholm, New Jersey, has pleaded guilty to obstructing formal proceedings and assaulting an officer in the Metropolitan Police Department. He faces 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 years in prison under the sentencing guidelines recommended as part of his plea agreement.
Devlyn Thompson, 28, of Puyallup, Wash., Faces a slightly longer recommended sentence of about four years to 4 3/4 years after assaulting a police officer with a dangerous weapon, a baton.
The plea deals come nearly two weeks after law enforcement officers briefed Congress on their traumatic ordeals on Capitol Hill – detailing vicious attacks, threats and racism from the mob, who were trying to prevent the Congress to certify President Biden’s electoral victory over former President Donald Trump.
About 140 police officers were attacked by rioters that day, according to the Justice Department. Five cops who protected the Capitol on January 6 are dead. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick suffered two fatal strokes after rioters sprayed him with a chemical irritant, and four others have since committed suicide.
Police shot dead a rioter and three others died of health problems during the chaos.
Fairlamb – whose brother is a Secret Service agent who protected Michelle Obama – was one of the first people to rape the Capitol after other rioters smashed windows, prosecutors said. After leaving the building, he harassed and restrained a group of officers who were trying to lock up the crowd, and was filmed pushing and hitting a policeman on the head.
“What are the patriots doing? We disarm them, then we storm the fucking Capitol! The former gym owner, who endorsed QAnon’s baseless conspiracy theories online, was seen singing in a music video.
“As a former MMA fighter, the accused was well aware of the injury he may have inflicted on (the officer),” prosecutors wrote. “His actions and words that day all indicate a specific intention to obstruct a Congressional process through fear, intimidation and violence, including violence against uniformed police officers.”
Thompson was at the forefront of the most violent attacks on law enforcement that day in a Capitol tunnel, prosecutors said.
“This is one of the most significant domestic terrorist events in US history, where a group of individuals attacked the citadel of our constitutional democracy in an attempt to overturn the valid results of the elections of the United States. President of the United States, “said Deputy US Attorney Tejpal Chawla. .
Lawyers for the defendants said they plan to seek leniency when sentencing.
Fairlamb and Thompson are at least the 32nd and 33rd defendants to plead guilty.
More than 560 people have been charged with federal crimes in connection with the deadly uprising and hundreds more remain at large.
With post wires