COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP/CBS13) – A national justice who sentenced a Colusa County designer connected Friday to probation for her relation successful the Capitol riot stressed that the Jan. 6 insurrection “represented a menace to democracy” and continues to resonate “in bittersweet and unfortunate ways.”
U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman noted that information fencing has gone up astir the Capitol successful mentation for a rally connected Saturday by what helium called “misguided” radical protesting what they allege is the mistreatment of jailed insurrectionists who tried to halt the certification of erstwhile President Donald Trump’s nonaccomplishment to Joe Biden.
Friedman sentenced Arbuckle nonmigratory Valerie Elaine Ehrke to 3 years of probation and ordered her to execute 120 hours of assemblage service.
Justice Department prosecutors said they recommended a probationary condemnation for Ehrke due to the fact that she was wrong the Capitol for astir 1 minute, lone stepped astir 15 feet into the gathering and didn’t prosecute successful immoderate unit oregon spot destruction. Friedman said Ehrke’s relation successful the insurrection was “about arsenic minimal arsenic it gets.”
More than 600 radical person been charged with national crimes related to the riot. Ehrke is 1 of astir 70 defendants who person pleaded blameworthy to riot-related charges.
Friedman noted that immoderate judge the jailed insurrectionists are “patriots.”
“And immoderate of them whitethorn beryllium connected immoderate level. But connected different level, the behaviour they engaged successful in bid to prosecute their beliefs is not First Amendment code and not First Amendment morganatic protest,” Friedman said. “What came to beryllium was a riot, was an incitement, was an insurrection.”
He echoed different judge’s presumption that probation shouldn’t beryllium the “automatic outcome” for misdemeanor convictions similar Ehrke’s. Everybody who stormed the Capitol “represented a menace to democracy, to our antiauthoritarian norms, and proceed to resonate successful bittersweet and unfortunate ways,” Friedman said.
Ehrke is the seventh Capitol riot suspect to beryllium sentenced. She pleaded blameworthy connected June 30 to illegally parading, demonstrating oregon picketing successful a Capitol building.
Over 40 different Capitol riot defendants person pleaded blameworthy to the aforesaid misdemeanor offense, which carries a maximum condemnation of 6 months imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.
Ehrke told the justice that the Jan. 6 riot was “such a unsocial situation.”
“I did not person the extent of acquisition to recognize that I needed to get retired of determination oregon enactment away,” she said.
In a missive submitted to the tribunal earlier her sentencing, Ehrke called herself “a good subordinate of society” who often picks up trash successful her vicinity and has worked connected architectural projects successful her assemblage escaped of charge.
“I americium a tiny municipality miss who loves my town, my authorities and my country,” she wrote.
Prosecutors asked Friedman to condemnation Ehrke to 3 years of probation and 40 hours of assemblage service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Birney said Ehrke was among the archetypal Capitol riot defendants to hold to plead guilty.
“The authorities places a batch of value connected that,” helium added.
Ehrke traveled to Washington, D.C., from her location successful Arbuckle, California, connected Jan. 5 to be Trump’s code connected the pursuing day. After proceeding the speech, she initially returned to her edifice room.
“However, erstwhile she saw a quality communicative astir however radical were going to the U.S. Capitol, she decided she wanted to beryllium portion of the crowd,” prosecutors wrote successful a tribunal filing.
Ehrke recorded and uploaded videos to Facebook arsenic she walked to the Capitol, including 1 with a caption that said she was heading to the “breached” building. Ehrke would person heard an alarm sounding passim the Capitol erstwhile she entered. She was stopped astatine the backmost of a assemblage of radical erstwhile constabulary started pushing them backmost done a hallway and retired of the gathering done a door.
“We made it inside, close earlier they shoved america each out. I took disconnected erstwhile I felt capsicum spray successful my throat! Lol,” Ehrke posted connected Facebook.
The representation for Ehrke’s Facebook illustration was a flaming “Q,” an evident notation to the QAnon conspiracy theory. Many QAnon followers judge Trump was warring a concealed run against a Satan-worshipping cabal of heavy authorities enemies, salient Democrats and Hollywood elites operating a kid sex-trafficking ring.
The riot disrupted the certification of the 2020 Electoral College ballot count. More than 100 instrumentality enforcement officers were injured during the mob’s attack, which besides caused much than $1 cardinal successful spot damage.
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Copyright 2021 The Associated Press.