The oldest known defendant accused of barging into the Capitol on January 6 has been sentenced to custody and house arrest after pleading guilty to one misdemeanor.
Gary WickershamAccording to prosecutors, the 81-year-old was one of the first to arrive at the Capitol after the police line was broken into. He was in the Senate Wing moments behind the infamous “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley, and at one point seen on surveillance video in a busy hallway outside the Maryland Representative’s office. Steny Hoyer (D).
On Tuesday, the Senior District Judge of the United States Royce Lambert sentenced Wickersham to 90 days in home detention and three years of probation, plus a $2,000 fine. Prosecutors asked for four months of home detention plus probation, while Wickersham only asked for a sentence of probation.
Wickersham was defiant when investigators interviewed him in January, according to prosecutors. He told them he “believes he was allowed into the Capitol because he paid his taxes,” the complaint reads.
He said that many of the crowd that day were “members of Antifa” and expressed his belief that “the whole event was staged and purported law enforcement did not have the resources to deal with it.” Supporters of the former president could flood the Capitol and then be labeled “intruders,” according to the government’s sentencing memo.
In October, he pleaded guilty to a single count of marching, protesting or having a picnic in a Capitol building. He was also charged with violent trespassing and disorderly conduct.
At Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, Lamberth started things off by noting Wickersham’s age.
“This is the first defendant I have come across who is older than me in quite a while,” Lamberth said shortly before hearing statements from the parties. Lambert, a Ronald Reagan appointee, three years younger than Wickersham.
Assistant US Attorney Sean Murphy, who noted that the average age of defendants on January 6 was 39, saying Wickersham’s was a “very difficult case.”
Murphy said that Wickersham seems to have softened since his first interview in January, when he “expressed little regret” about his actions, according to Murphy.
“The passage of time seems to have changed his tune on that,” Murphy said, but added that the important thing remained that Wickersham was punished.
Wickersham’s attorney said his client made a “terrible decision” to go inside the Capitol, and it was a decision he “regrets, sincerely and deeply”.
“In many ways, that decision and those 22 minutes will now define the life of an 81-year-old man,” the lawyer said. Michael Noone speak.
In arguing only for a sentence of probation, without house arrest, Noone described Wickersham as a veteran and widow “never had so many traffic tickets” and went to the Capitol that day because boring.
“I think frankly he went down there because he was bored and had nothing else to do,” Noone said. “He is living alone within two hours of Washington DC.”
Noone said Wickersham’s wife, 51, passed away in 2018 after battling Parkinson’s disease, and said he should have had the opportunity to travel to see his children and grandchildren, who live a short distance from his home. in Pennsylvania about 20 minutes.
“Limiting his ability to do that now in his prime years would have a very profound impact on Mr Wickersham, an impact that is perhaps disproportionate to the impact on one person,” said Noone. younger men or younger women.
Wickersham also spoke on his behalf at Tuesday’s sentencing.
“I got off the car” [in Washington] And when I was walking by the Capitol, it was the last place in the world that I thought I would walk for 22 minutes inside,” Wickersham said. “During my 81 years[,] The 22 minutes that I spent in it, it was a black mark in my life and I regret doing it. ”
Ultimately, Lamberth decided that a degree of punishment beyond probation was appropriate. Mr Lamberth said Wickersham would be allowed to travel for business, to serve his religion, to attend school, to receive medical treatment, to visit attorneys, to appear in court and to have other court-ordered obligations.
Lamberth praised Wickersham for offering the plea agreement, and expressed hope that it would encourage other defendants on January 6 to do the same.
“The court has to encourage others to do what you did in this case, and that’s what I want to do with this verdict today, and not stop others from going ahead and doing what they have. able to work things out okay with what happened that day. ,” said Lamberth.
Wickersham’s guilty plea and sentencing will send a message to the other defendants on January 6, looking forward to bringing their case to trial that “the jig is up,” Lamberth said.
“There are a lot of other people out there who think some sort of magic is going to happen,” Lamberth said. “When you see these tapes [of the Capitol riot], I don’t know what they will try. ”
[Images via FBI.]
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https://lawandcrime.com/u-s-capitol-siege/oldest-known-jan-6-defendant-81-said-he-had-a-right-as-taxpayer-to-enter-the-capitol-he-was-just-sentenced-following-a-guilty-plea/ Gary Wickersham, 81, Receives Home Sentence for January 6 Attack