A Kentucky man has been sentenced to 14 years in jail for his function within the riot on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, the harshest penalty handed right down to date following a whole lot of comparable circumstances linked to the unrest.
US District Choose Amit Mehta imposed the prolonged sentence on 49-year-old Peter Schwartz on Friday. Accused of attacking law enforcement officials with pepper spray and a chair throughout the riot, the person was beforehand discovered responsible of 10 expenses, together with 4 counts of felony assault, in addition to resisting or impeding officers utilizing a harmful weapon.
In courtroom, Mehta had few form phrases for the convicted, calling Schwartz a “soldier towards democracy” who took half in “the type of mayhem, chaos that had by no means been seen within the nation’s historical past.”
“You aren’t a political prisoner,” the choose continued. “You’re not anyone who’s standing up towards injustice or preventing towards an autocratic regime.”
Whereas the prosecution had really useful a sentence of greater than 24 years, Schwartz’s protection hoped for simply 4, with Mehta apparently discovering center floor between the 2. As soon as out of jail, he’ll endure three years of supervised launch.
The choose famous Schwartz’s lengthy legal file, which incorporates 38 convictions since 1991, telling him “there should not many individuals who’ve come to this courtroom with a legal historical past like yours.” A number of of his earlier expenses had been associated to “assaulting or threatening officers or different authority figures,” in accordance with prosecutor Jocelyn Bond, who referred to as the person’s rap sheet “jaw-dropping.”
Schwartz’s protection argued his actions had been based mostly on a “misunderstanding” of the 2020 presidential election, sustaining that he’s remorseful. The race was strongly contested by former President Donald Trump and his allies, who alleged widespread voter fraud in favor of Joe Biden however failed to supply convincing proof in a flurry of courtroom circumstances.
“There stay many grifters on the market who stay free to proceed propagating the ‘nice lie’ that Trump gained the election, Donald Trump being among the many most distinguished. Mr. Schwartz shouldn’t be one among these people; he is aware of he was flawed,” his protection attorneys wrote.
Schwartz’s 14-year penalty follows one other 10-year sentence handed down by Mehta for Thomas Webster, a retired New York police officer who was charged for assaulting a member of legislation enforcement outdoors the Capitol throughout the riot. Previous to Schwartz, Webster’s was the longest jail time period imposed for any January 6 defendant.