Toughest sentence yet for Capitol rioter — More than 5 years

National

FILE – Insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump swarm the Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. A college student who posted online that “Infamy is just as good as fame. Either way I end up more known. XOXO” after she climbed through a broken window at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 has been sentenced to a month behind bars for her actions. Gracyn Courtright sobbed as she told Judge Christopher Cooper that “if I could take back anything in my life it would be my actions on Jan. 6.” (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Capitol rioter who attacked police officers working to keep back the angry mob on Jan. 6 was sentenced Friday to more than five years behind bars, the most so far for anyone sentenced in the insurrection.

Robert Palmer, 54, of Largo, Florida, wept as he told U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan that he recently watched a video of his actions that day and could not believe what he was seeing.

“Your honor. I’m really really ashamed of what I did,” he said weeping.

Palmer was one of a few rioters sentenced on Friday in District of Columbia court for their actions on Jan. 6 when the angry mob descended after a rally by then-President Donald Trump to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s victory. Scores of police were beaten and blooded, five people died and there was about $1.5 million in damage done to the U.S. Capitol. Palmer is the 65th defendant to be sentenced overall. More than 700 people have been charged.

Before Palmer’s sentencing, the longest prison term handed down for a Capitol rioter was 41 months. That was the sentence received by both Jacob Chansley, the Arizona man who wore a horned fur hat, bare chest and face paint inside the Capitol; and New Jersey gym owner Scott Fairlamb, the first person to be sentenced for assaulting a law enforcement officer during the riot.

“It has to be made clear … trying to stop the peaceful transition of power and assaulting law enforcement officers is going to be met with certain punishment,” the judge said. “There are going to be consequences. I’m not making an example of you. I’m sentencing you for the conduct you did.”

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