First Jan. 6 Capitol Rioter Found Guilty by Jury

Federal Jury Convicts First Jan. 6 Rioter

Michael Sparks, aged 46, became the first Jan. 6 rioter to be convicted for his role in breaching the Capitol building. Sparks participated in the breach, which was aimed at objecting to Joe Biden’s electoral win in 2020.

Sparks’ Involvement in the Capitol Breach

Sparks entered the Capitol building by leaping through a shattered window, following another rioter’s actions. The jury found him guilty on all six charges, including two felonies. He refrained from giving testimony during the trial, and his sentencing is scheduled for July 9, 2024.

Events Leading to the Capitol Breach

Sparks traveled from Kentucky to Washington, D.C. with colleagues to attend President Donald Trump‘s “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6. After the rally, Sparks and his coworker, Joseph Howe, were part of a crowd heading towards the Capitol building.

Legal Proceedings and Arguments

During the trial, Justice Department prosecutor Emily Allen highlighted Sparks’ preparedness for conflict, likening him to being more ready for battle than some police officers present that day. Sparks spearheaded the charge moments before senators were evacuated, with prosecutors portraying him as eager for conflict.

Acknowledging Sparks’ guilt on lesser charges, defense attorney Scott Wendelsdorf argued against felony charges, suggesting that Sparks was unfairly targeted for the collective actions of the mob. Wendelsdorf claimed Sparks distanced himself from the chaos once it was clear Vice President Mike Pence would not overturn Biden’s win.

Read More of this Story at – 2024-03-02 16:47:00

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