A US man with an extended legal file has been sentenced to 14 years in jail for attacking cops with pepper spray and a chair throughout the storming of the US Capitol.
Peter Schwartz’s jail sentence is the longest to date amongst lots of of Capitol riot circumstances. The decide who sentenced him additionally handed down the earlier longest sentence — 10 years — to a retired New York Police Division officer who assaulted a police officer exterior the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Prosecutors had beneficial a jail sentence of 24 years and 6 months for Schwartz, a welder.
US District Decide Amit Mehta sentenced Schwartz to 14 years and two months in jail, adopted by three years of supervised launch.
Mehta mentioned Schwartz was a “soldier towards democracy” who participated in “the type of mayhem, chaos that had by no means been seen within the nation’s historical past.”
Schwartz briefly addressed the decide earlier than studying his sentence, saying, “I do sincerely remorse the injury that January 6 has precipitated to so many individuals and their lives.”
The decide mentioned he did not consider Schwartz’s assertion, noting his lack of regret.
Schwartz was armed with a wood tyre knocker when he and his then-wife, Shelly Stallings, joined different rioters in overwhelming a line of cops on the Capitol’s Decrease West Terrace, the place he threw a folding chair at officers.
“By throwing that chair, Schwartz instantly contributed to the autumn of the police line that enabled rioters to flood ahead and take over the whole terrace,” prosecutor Jocelyn Bond wrote in a court docket submitting.
Schwartz, 49, additionally armed himself with a police-issued “tremendous soaker” canister of pepper spray and sprayed it at retreating officers. Advancing to a tunnel entrance, Schwartz coordinated with two different rioters, Markus Maly and Jeffrey Brown, to spray an orange liquid towards officers clashing with the mob.
Schwartz was tried with co-defendants Maly and Brown. In December, a jury convicted all three of assault prices and different felony offences.
Mehta sentenced Brown final Friday to 4 years and 6 months in jail. Maly is scheduled to be sentenced June 9.
Stallings pleaded responsible final yr to riot-related prices and was sentenced final month to 2 years of incarceration.
Schwartz’s attorneys mentioned his actions on January 6 had been motivated by a “misunderstanding” in regards to the 2020 presidential election. Then-President Donald Trump and his allies unfold baseless conspiracy theories that Democrats stole the election from the Republican incumbent.
“There stay many grifters on the market who stay free to proceed propagating the ‘nice lie’ that Trump received the election, Donald Trump being among the many most outstanding. Mr Schwartz just isn’t one in all these people; he is aware of he was flawed,” his defence legal professionals wrote.
Schwartz has raised over $US71,000 from an internet marketing campaign entitled “Patriot Pete Political Prisoner in DC.” Prosecutors requested Mehta to order Schwartz to pay a high-quality equalling the quantity raised by his marketing campaign, arguing he should not revenue from collaborating within the riot.
Schwartz was on probation when he joined the January 6 riot. His legal file contains 38 prior convictions since 1991, “a number of of which concerned assaulting or threatening officers or different authority figures,” Bond wrote.
The ten-year jail sentence that Mehta handed down in September to retired NYPD officer Thomas Webster had remained the longest till Friday. Webster had used a steel flagpole to assault an officer after which tackled the identical officer because the mob superior towards the Capitol.
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