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Science And Nature

Ex-cop who attacked Capitol officer on Jan. 6 gets a decade

Washington

A retired NY Police Department officer was sentenced on Thursday to a record-setting 10 years in prison for attacking the U.S. Capitol and utilizing a metal flagpole to assault among the police officers attempting to postpone a mob of Donald Trump supporters.

Thomas Websters prison sentence may be the longest up to now among roughly 250 individuals who have been punished because of their conduct through the riot on Jan. 6, 2021. The prior longest was shared by two other rioters, who have been sentenced separately to seven years and 90 days in prison.

Mr. Webster, a 20-year NYPD veteran, was the initial Capitol riot defendant to be tried on an assault charge and the first ever to present a self-defense argument. A jury rejected Mr. Websters declare that he was defending himself when he tackled Metropolitan Police Department officer Noah Rathbun and grabbed his gas mask beyond your Capitol on Jan. 6.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta sentenced Mr. Webster to 10 years in prison plus 3 years of supervised release. He allowed Mr. Webster to are accountable to prison at a romantic date to be determined rather than immediately ordering him into custody.

Mr. Webster, I dont think youre a negative person, the judge said. I believe you were swept up in an instant. But you may already know, even getting swept up in an instant has consequences.

Mr. Webster considered apologize to Mr. Rathbun, who was simply in the courtroom but didnt address the judge. Mr. Webster said he wishes he previously never arrived at Washington, D.C.

I wish the horrible events of this day had never happened, he told the judge.

The judge said Mr. Rathbun wasnt Mr. Websters only victim on Jan. 6.

Another victim was democracy, which is not something that may be taken lightly, Judge Mehta added.

Federal prosecutors had recommended a prison sentence of 17 years and half a year. The courts probation department had recommended a 10-year prison sentence. Judge Mehta wasnt bound by the recommendations.

In a court filing, prosecutors accused Mr. Webster of disgracing a democracy he once fought honorably to safeguard and serve. Mr. Webster led the charge against police barricades at the Capitols Lower West Plaza, prosecutors said. They compared the attack to a medieval battle, with rioters pelting officers with makeshift projectiles and participating in hand-to-hand combat.

Nothing can explain or justify Mr. Websters rage. Nothing can explain or justify his violence, Assistant U.S. Attorney Hava Mirell said Thursday.

Defense attorney James Monroe said in a court filing that the mob was guided by unscrupulous politicians among others promoting the lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from the Republican incumbent. He questioned why prosecutors argued that Mr. Webster didnt deserve leniency for his 25 years of service to his country and NEW YORK.

That’s not how exactly we measure justice. That’s revenge, Mr. Monroe said.

IN-MAY, jurors deliberated for under three hours before they convicted Mr. Webster of most six counts in his indictment, including a charge he assaulted Mr. Rathbun with a dangerous weapon, the flagpole.

Also Thursday, a fresh Jersey man pleaded guilty to using pepper spray on cops, including person who later died. Officer Brian Sicknick suffered a stroke your day following the riot and died of natural causes. He along with other officers were standing guard behind metal bicycle racks because the mob of pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol.

Julian Khater pleaded guilty to two counts of assaulting or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon. He could confront 20 years in prison, though will probably face a sentence which range from about 6 1/2 to 8 years at a hearing set for December.

The case against Mr. Khater another man have already been on the list of more notable brought by the Justice Department. George Pierre Tanios brought the pepper spray in a backpack. Mr. Tanios previously pleaded guilty and is particularly set to be sentenced in December.

Mr. Webster had testified at trial he was attempting to protect himself from the rogue cop who punched him in the facial skin. He also accused Mr. Rathbun of instigating the confrontation.

Mr. Rathbun testified he didnt punch or select a fight with Mr. Webster. Mr. Rathbun said he was attempting to move Mr. Webster back from the security perimeter he along with other officers were struggling to keep up.

Mr. Rathbuns body camera captured Mr. Webster shouting profanities and insults before they made any physical contact. The video demonstrates Mr. Webster slammed among the bike racks at Mr. Rathbun prior to the officer reached out having an open left hand and struck the proper side of Mr. Websters face.

After Mr. Rathbun struck his face, Mr. Webster swung a metal flag pole at the officer in a downward chopping motion, striking a bike rack. Mr. Rathbun grabbed the broken pole from Mr. Webster, who charged at the officer, tackled him to the bottom and grabbed his gas mask, choking him by the chin strap.

Mr. Webster drove alone to Washington, D.C., from his home near Goshen, NY, on the eve of the Jan. 6 Stop the Steal rally, where Mr. Trump addressed a large number of supporters. Mr. Webster was wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a Marine Corps flag on a metal pole when he joined the mob that stormed the Capitol.

Mr. Webster said he visited the Capitol to petition lawmakers to relook at the outcomes of the 2020 presidential election. But he testified he didnt plan to hinder Congress joint session to certify President Joe Bidens victory.

Mr. Webster retired from the NYPD in 2011 after 20 years of service, including a stint on then-Mayor Michael Bloombergs private security detail. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1985 to 1989 before joining the NYPD in 1991.

This story was reported by The Associated Press. AP writer Lindsay Whitehurst contributed to the report.

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