Politics

Former police officer gets 7-plus years in prison in Jan. 6 case

Robertson gets credit score for the 13 months he has already spent in custody. Robertson has been jailed since Cooper dominated final year that he violated the phrases of his pretrial launch by possessing firearms.

The decide stated he was troubled by Robertson’s conduct since his arrest — not solely his stockpiling of weapons but in addition his phrases advocating for violence. After Jan. 6, Robertson informed a buddy that he was ready to combat and die in a civil warfare and he clung to baseless conspiracy theories that the 2020 election was stolen from then-President Donald Trump, the decide famous.

Sentencing pointers calculated by Cooper really helpful a prison time period starting from seven years and three months to 9 years.

“It’s a long time because it reflects the seriousness of the offenses that you were convicted of,” the decide stated.

In April, a jury convicted Robertson of attacking the Capitol to impede Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential victory. Jurors discovered Robertson responsible of all six counts in his indictment, together with prices that he interfered with police officers on the Capitol and that he entered a restricted space with a harmful weapon, a big wood stick.

Robertson’s attorneys stated the Army veteran was utilizing the stick to assist him stroll as a result of he has a limp from getting shot in the suitable thigh whereas working as a non-public contractor for the Defense Department in Afghanistan in 2011.

The decide stated he agreed with jurors that Robertson went to the Capitol to intrude with the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6. Robertson was an “active and willing participant,” not “some bystander” who acquired swept up in the group, Cooper stated.

Robertson traveled to Washington on that morning with one other off-duty Rocky Mount police officer, Jacob Fracker, and a 3rd man, a neighbor who wasn’t charged in the case.

Fracker was scheduled to be tried alongside Robertson earlier than he pleaded responsible to a conspiracy cost in March and agreed to cooperate with federal authorities. Cooper is scheduled to condemn Fracker subsequent Tuesday.

Prosecutors have requested Cooper to spare Fracker from a prison time period and sentence him to 6 months of probation together with a interval of dwelling detention or “community confinement.” They stated Fracker’s “fulsome” cooperation and trial testimony was essential in securing convictions in opposition to Robertson.

Robertson’s lawyer, Mark Rollins, sought a prison sentence under two years and three months. He questioned the equity of the broad hole in sentences that prosecutors really helpful for Robertson and Fracker given their related conduct.

Robertson served his nation and group with distinction, his lawyer informed the decide.

“His life already is in shambles,” Rollins stated.

Robertson and Fracker had been amongst a number of present or former regulation enforcement officers who joined in the riot. Prosecutors say Robertson used his regulation enforcement and navy coaching to dam police officers who had been attempting to carry off the advancing mob.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Aloi stated Robertson was ready for violence when he went to the Capitol and did a “victory lap” contained in the constructing, the place he posed for a selfie with Fracker.

“The defendant is, by all accounts, proud of his conduct on Jan. 6,” she stated.

Jurors noticed a few of Robertson’s posts on social media earlier than and after the riot. In a Facebook submit on Nov. 7, 2020, Robertson stated “being disenfranchised by fraud is my laborious line.“

“I’ve spent most of my adult life fighting a counter insurgency. (I’m) about to become part of one, and a very effective one,” he wrote.

In a letter addressed to the decide, Robertson stated he took full accountability for his actions on Jan. 6 and “any poor decisions I made.” He blamed the vitriolic content material of his social media posts on a mixture of stress, alcohol abuse and “submersion in deep ‘rabbit holes’ of election conspiracy theory.”

“I sat around at night drinking too much and reacting to articles and sites given to me by Facebook” algorithms, he wrote.

The city fired Robertson and Fracker after the riot. Rocky Mount is about 25 miles south of Roanoke, Va., and has about 5,000 residents.

Roughly 850 individuals have been charged with federal crimes for his or her conduct on Jan. 6. More than 350 of them have pleaded responsible, largely to misdemeanor offenses, and greater than 230 have been sentenced thus far.

Robertson’s jury trial was the second for a Capitol riot case; Reffitt’s was the primary. Jurors have unanimously convicted seven Capitol rioters of all prices in their respective indictments.

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