politico – Virginia couple plead guilty in Capitol riot

The arrangement could serve as a model for hundreds of other filed tort cases related to the events of January 6. Defense attorneys say it also suggests prosecutors won’t easily accept more lenient resolutions in Capitol Hill riot cases, such as postponing the case and closing it after a period of good conduct.

“There is no guarantee of the sentence that will be imposed in this case,” Judge Thomas Hogan told the Bustles during the afternoon hearing, conducted by video conference. “I can pronounce a legal sentence up to the maximum provided by law: six months.

According to a complaint filed by an FBI agent in March, Jessica Bustle posted on her Facebook page on January 6: “Pence is a traitor. We stormed the capital. A peaceful, unarmed woman in the hallway was hit in the neck by cops. It’s crazy here… .Pray for America !!!! ”

In another article, Jessica Bustle – who said she was opposed to taking the coronavirus vaccine – reported that she and her husband were attending a “health freedom” rally separate from the President’s rally. Donald Trump. They then decided to check out what was going on on Capitol Hill, she wrote. “My husband and I just walked in with tons of other people.”

Bustle also wrote: “We need a revolution.”

While on Capitol Hill, the Bustles carried placards expressing doubts about coronavirus vaccines and opposing mandatory medical procedures.

Jessica Bustle told Hogan these statements were correct, but noted that everything in her posts online was not confrontational.

“I wanted to say that I admit my guilt for the things I said and that I’m sorry I said what I said. Also, there were other things that were said in the messages that were nice, like “Pray for America”. These are not all the things I wrote, ”she said.

The Bustles also agreed to pay $ 500 each in restitution, Hogan said.

Lawyers for the Bustles and a prosecutor said they were ready to hand down the sentencing on Monday, but the judge refused, saying he would set a sentencing date in 4 to 6 weeks.

“I am not ready to pronounce the sentence today. I think we need to take a look at the case, ”said Hogan, a person appointed by President Ronald Reagan. The judge said he wanted to ensure “consistency and comparability” of sentences between those accused of the Capitol riots, none of whom have been convicted so far.

Many accused of the Capitol riots face the four typical misdemeanor charges the Bustles faced, plus one felony charge of obstructing due process. The latter charge carries a 20-year prison sentence. It is not clear how prosecutors distinguished between non-violent defendants who only face misdemeanors and those to whom the felony charge has been added.

The first guilty pleas in the Capitol Riot came in April from Jon Schaffer, a heavy metal guitarist and self-proclaimed life member of the Oath Keepers. He confessed to two crimes: obstruction and entry into a secret service restricted area while carrying a dangerous weapon.

Schaffer has agreed to cooperate in the ongoing government conspiracy case against his fellow Oath Keepers. A total of 16 people are now indicted in this case.

The second guilty plea came from a Florida man who surrendered to the Senate during the January 6 unrest, Paul Hodgkins. At a hearing earlier this month, he pleaded guilty to one charge of obstructing justice. Prosecutors agreed to drop the misdemeanor charges against him, but there was no element of cooperation in the deal. His sentence is provisionally set for July 19.

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