New Sentencing of Man Targeted in Capitol Riot Conspiracy Theories
Ray Epps, a former Arizona resident, was sentenced to probation for his involvement in the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot. Epps pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and received no jail time. However, he will need to complete 100 hours of community service. His sentencing took place amid conspiracy theories that he was an undercover government agent who incited the attack. Epps also filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox News for spreading baseless claims about him. Despite the threats and upheaval, Epps’ lawyer stated that he and his wife hope to move on with their lives.
The Conspiracy Theories
Right-wing media outlets, including Fox News Channel, amplified conspiracy theories suggesting that Epps was an undercover government agent who helped incite the Capitol attack. These baseless claims led to death threats and forced Epps into hiding. In response, Epps filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox News, accusing the network of spreading false information about him.
Epps appeared remotely for his sentencing, where Chief Judge James Boasberg sentenced him to probation. Prosecutors had recommended a six-month jail term, but Epps received no jail time. Instead, he will be required to complete 100 hours of community service. The judge expressed hope that the threats against Epps and his wife will subside so they can move forward.
Epps’ Plea and Reflection
Epps pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct on restricted grounds. He admitted that he should not have believed the lies about a stolen election propagated by Donald Trump and his allies, as well as Fox News. Epps expressed remorse and asked for mercy before learning his sentence.
The Truth About Epps
Federal prosecutors have confirmed that Epps was not a government agent or employee. He served in the U.S. Marines but was not involved in any government activities beyond that. The internet-fueled accusations against Epps have persisted even after the Justice Department charged him for participating in the riot. Epps’ lawyer emphasized that those who spread hate and lies about his client need to correct their messaging to prevent further harm.
Epps’ Life After the Riot
The aftermath of the Capitol riot has drastically impacted Epps’ life. He and his wife were forced to sell their property and businesses and flee their home in Arizona. They now live in a trailer in the woods, isolated from their family, friends, and community. Epps’ lawyer highlighted the significant toll this ordeal has taken on his client’s life.
Prosecution and Allegations
Epps surrendered to the FBI two days after the riot and cooperated with their investigation. However, the government initially declined to prosecute him due to insufficient evidence. Epps did not enter the Capitol building or engage in any violence or destruction. His lawyer argued that Epps was one of many who trespassed outside the building and that most individuals involved will not be charged.
Ray Epps’ sentencing for his involvement in the Capitol riot marks the end of a tumultuous period in his life. Despite facing conspiracy theories, threats, and upheaval, Epps expressed remorse and a desire to move forward. The sentencing serves as a reminder of the lasting impact of the events that transpired on January 6, 2021.
Read More of this Story at abcnews.go.com – 2024-01-09 17:47:37
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