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Air Force veteran, Jan 6 rioter sentenced to two years in prison

PoliticsElectionsAir Force veteran, Jan 6 rioter sentenced to two years in prison
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Shortly after news outlets announced that Joe Biden had won the 2020 presidential election, retired Air Force lieutenant colonel Larry R. Brock Jr. began calling for a revolution.

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Brock wrote on Facebook on November 8, 2020, “We need to execute traitors who are trying to steal the election, and this includes media and social media leaders and plotting a coup d’état. ” We must accept this rigged election,” he wrote in December. “I think the Scotus need to see if they don’t act there will be blood.” On Christmas Eve, he wrote, “I bought myself body armor and a helmet for the coming civil war.”

But January 62021, he appeared on the US Senate floor wearing the helmet and body armor he had picked up inside the Capitol, and carrying the zip-tie handcuffs. Although he did not physically assault any police, his dress and his earlier comments that day led a federal judge to sentence him to two years in prison on Friday for obstructing congressional authentication of the Electoral College vote.

Brock, 56, from Grapevine, Tex., graduated from the Air Force Academy and served nine years on active duty and 16 years in the reserves as a pilot, and saw combat action in Afghanistan, his lawyer said in a summary statement. where did it go. Prosecutors noted in their brief that Brock was fired from his job as a sales leader in Fort Worth in 2018 because of repeated threats of violence against his co-workers.

Like thousands of others, Brock attended a “Stop the Steal” rally organized by President Donald Trump on January 6, then marched to the Capitol and entered. His attorney, Charles Burnham, claimed that Brock did not know he was not allowed in, despite the widespread chaos at the Capitol that day.

Once at the Capitol, Brock spent about 37 minutes inside, investigators determined, at one point scooping up the zip-tie handcuffs with which he was soon photographed, as well as A set of keys he used to try to open the door to the Senate chamber through which Vice President Mike Pence had exited moments earlier.

When he reached the Senate floor, he loudly declared, “This is our house!” wrote Assistant US Attorney April Ayers-Perez.

Soon after Brock’s photo appeared in the news media, his ex-wife called and identified him to federal authorities, according to court records. Brock also gave an interview to Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker, claiming that he did not bring the zip-tie handcuffs to the Capitol, but found them there.

Brock chose a bench trial in front of US District Judge John D. Bates rather than a jury trial. In November, Bates pleaded guilty to Brock on six counts: felony obstruction charges and five misdemeanors. The judge called it “unfathomable that Mr Brock believed he was authorized” to be there. Bates said, “He could look around and feel that he was part of a crowd.”

Air Force combat veteran convicted of felony role in January 6 riots

A preliminary sentencing guideline calculation by the federal probation office determined that Brock should face a sentence range of 57 to 71 months, and prosecutors recommended the judge impose a term of 60 months.

But the guideline’s calculation included an eight-level escalation for causing or threatening physical or property damage. Bates ruled that the increase was unreasonable because Brock had not harmed anyone or damaged any property himself. The judge reduced the sentence range from 24 to 30 months. Ayers-Pérez still asked for a sentence of 60 months.

Now it was time for Brock to talk to the judge. He denied. Burnham said Brock is still considering appealing his conviction.

The judge said he would normally consider a sentence at the low end of the guidelines’ range in such a case. Then with Brock’s military service, lack of criminal history, and his efforts to stop some of the rioters from causing further harm, “that would lead me to the bottom of the guidelines. But we have to keep the rhetoric in mind,” the judge said while reading page after page of angry Facebook posts from Brock.

“I find this particularly reprehensible and quite frankly unbelievable from a senior military officer,” the judge said. “It’s detailed, it’s consistent, it’s both surprising and atrocious. And we have no acceptance of responsibility and no remorse of any kind. ZERO.”

In addition to sentencing Brock to 24 months in prison, Bates ordered him to serve two years of supervised release and 100 hours of community service after sentencing. As with almost all January 6 defendants, he was not taken into custody after sentencing and was allowed to arrange for his surrender date.

Brock is the 13th trial defendant sentenced for obstruction of official proceedings, and the average sentence has been 45 months, according to Washington Post data. Of the 21 defendants who pleaded guilty to obstruction charges, the average sentence was 28.4 months, the Post data shows.

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