William Chrestman Sentenced for Role in U.S. Capitol Riot
William “Billy” Chrestman, a member of the Olathe Proud Boys who participated in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, has been sentenced to over four years in prison and 36 months of supervised release. Chrestman, 50, also must pay $2,000 in restitution for damage to the Capitol, which exceeded $2.9 million.
Statement of Remorse
Chrestman expressed remorse for his actions and apologized to the court, his family, and the community. He acknowledged feeling ashamed of his behavior and the negative impact it had on his loved ones, including missing important milestones and being forced to sell their family home.
Chrestman has already spent nearly three years in jail since his arrest in February 2021. He pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding and threatening a federal officer. The maximum penalties for these charges include 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, the government requested a sentence of 55 months’ incarceration, along with supervised release and restitution.
Role in the Riot
The government described Chrestman as a “second-degree” Proud Boy who played a significant role in the attack. He was captured in multiple videos dressed in tactical gear, leading chants, and obstructing metal barriers with an ax handle. Chrestman and other Proud Boys, along with the Oath Keepers, were instrumental in breaching the Capitol and causing widespread damage.
Sentencing of Other Kansas Residents
Chrestman is the seventh out of ten Kansas residents charged in connection with the Capitol riot to be sentenced. His co-defendants, Christopher Kuehne, Ryan Ashlock, and Louis Colon, along with Arizona siblings Cory and Felicia Konold, have also faced legal consequences for their involvement.
About the Proud Boys
The Proud Boys is a controversial organization known for engaging in street-level violence and clashing with anti-fascist groups at protests. Alongside the Oath Keepers, they played a pivotal role in the Capitol attack, overpowering law enforcement and gaining unauthorized access to the building.
Chrestman’s Preparations for the Riot
Prior to the riot, Chrestman communicated with other Proud Boys about the weapons they could bring to Washington, D.C. He purchased an ax handle the day before the attack and came prepared with a tactical vest, gloves, and a gas mask. The government revealed that Chrestman used an American flag to conceal the weapon, demonstrating premeditation and a commitment to violence.
Chrestman’s Actions During the Riot
Chrestman actively participated in the riot, taking on a leadership role and directing fellow rioters. He helped breach the Peace Circle outside the Capitol, encouraged others to move past barricades, obstructed the arrest of a fellow rioter, and aided the pursuit of police officers inside the Capitol Visitor Center. His chants and rallying cries further incited the mob to engage in violence.
In conclusion, William Chrestman has been sentenced to over four years in prison for his involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. His actions reflect a premeditated commitment to violence and disregard for the consequences. As the legal proceedings continue, it is evident that those responsible for the attack will be held accountable for their actions.
Read More of this Story at www.kansascity.com – 2024-01-12 17:37:00
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