Two Former Proud Boys Leaders Sentenced for Capitol Attack
Two former leaders of the far-right Proud Boys extremist group have been sentenced to more than a decade each in prison for their involvement in the attack on the US Capitol that aimed to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden after the 2020 presidential election.
Organizer Joseph Biggs Receives 17-Year Prison Term
Joseph Biggs, one of the organizers of the attack, has been sentenced to 17 years in prison, the second longest sentence handed down in relation to the January 6th attack. Biggs was the first Proud Boys member to be sentenced by US District Judge Timothy Kelly.
Leader Zachary Rehl Sentenced to 15 Years
Zachary Rehl, another leader of the Proud Boys, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, marking the third longest sentence for individuals involved in the Capitol attack. Like Biggs, Rehl was sentenced by Judge Kelly and will be followed by three other convicted members of the Proud Boys.
Enrique Tarrio’s Sentencing Postponed
Enrique Tarrio, the former national chairman and top leader of the Proud Boys, was scheduled to be sentenced but his hearing was postponed due to Judge Kelly’s illness. Tarrio, who was not present in Washington on January 6th, had delegated his leadership to Biggs and Ethan Nordean.
Proud Boys Leaders Convicted of Seditious Conspiracy
Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl, Enrique Tarrio, and Ethan Nordean were all convicted of charges including seditious conspiracy, a rarely brought offense from the Civil War era. Dominic Pezzola, another Proud Boys member, was acquitted of seditious conspiracy but convicted of other serious charges.
Prosecutors Recommended Lengthy Prison Sentences
Federal prosecutors had recommended a 33-year prison sentence for Joseph Biggs and a 30-year sentence for Zachary Rehl. These recommendations took into account their role in planning and leading the attack on the Capitol.
Judge Highlights the Importance of Peaceful Power Transfer
US District Judge Timothy Kelly emphasized the significance of peacefully transferring power and how the January 6th attack violated this American tradition. He condemned the actions of those involved in the assault on the Capitol, stating that it broke an essential custom.
Defense Claims Unfair Responsibility
Defense attorneys argued that their clients were being unfairly held accountable for the violent actions of others in the crowd. Joseph Biggs acknowledged his involvement but attributed his actions to being influenced by the crowd and denied any violent intentions.
Proud Boys Leaders’ Involvement Revealed in Messages
During the trial, jurors were presented with messages exchanged between Proud Boys leaders before the Capitol attack. These messages showed Joseph Biggs encouraging Enrique Tarrio to take more radical actions. Biggs himself played a prominent role in breaching the Capitol.
Zachary Rehl’s False Testimony
Zachary Rehl was seen on video spraying a chemical irritant at law enforcement officers but repeatedly lied about the incident during his trial. Prosecutors highlighted his dishonesty and his leadership in directing others to infiltrate the Capitol.
Remaining Sentences and Convictions
Enrique Tarrio, Ethan Nordean, and Dominic Pezzola are still awaiting sentencing. Prosecutors have recommended prison sentences of 33 years for Tarrio, 27 years for Nordean, and 20 years for Pezzola. More than 1,100 people have been charged in connection with the Capitol attack, with over 600 convictions and sentences.
Read More of this Story at www.timesofisrael.com – 2023-08-31 23:08:00
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