The former officer of the New York Police Department who was found guilty of assaulting law enforcement during the attack on the United States Capitol on January 6 was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Thursday by a federal judge. This is the longest prison sentence that has been handed down so far in the extensive investigation into the attack.
In May, a jury found Thomas Webster, who is also a veteran of the Marine Corps, guilty of multiple charges stemming from his membership in the mob. These charges included assaulting officers and engaging in violent and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Webster is also a veteran of the Marine Corps.
Due to Webster’s 25 years of duty as a police officer and Marine, as well as his later indication of regret for his conduct, Mehta handed down a sentence of 120 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release. This was done out of regard to Webster’s previous service.
After the guilty verdicts were handed down, Webster was placed on 24-hour home detention, but the prosecutors asked the judge to impose the harshest sentence yet, which would be up to 210 months in prison. This would make Webster’s case the most severe of the hundreds of Jan. 6 prosecutions that have reached the sentencing phase.
The Justice Department argued in court documents that were filed in advance of Thursday’s sentencing that Webster “spearheaded” a breach against the police line on the Capitol’s west front and was responsible for “disgracing a democracy that he once fought honorably to protect and serve.” The sentencing will take place on Thursday.
According to what was said by the government, “notwithstanding his history and training, Webster did not attempt to de-escalate the situation or depart the premises.” Instead, Webster led the charge throughout the confrontation. Webster spent eight minutes pushing and shoving his way through the tightly packed crowd in order to get to the front of the throng.
But in his own pre-sentencing filings, Webster disavowed charges of fraud in the 2020 election and provided a letter of support from a friend who blames former President Trump for “despicable lies.” Webster’s documents were submitted before he was sentenced.
James Monroe, Webster’s defense attorney, admitted that his client’s crimes were “unmistakably violent and reprehensible,” but he asked the court to consider his history as a father, officer, and Marine. Monroe pointed out that the defendant turned himself in to investigators shortly after the attack. He also noted that the defendant turned himself in to investigators shortly after the attack.
In the courtroom on Thursday, Mehta urged the public to analyze the circumstances surrounding Webster’s case in the context of ongoing dangers to democratic processes.
According to what he had to say, “We simply cannot have a country in which people on the losing side of an election think you can use violence to influence the result.”
Mehta told Webster, “You contributed to one of the darkest days in the history of the country,” when referring to a certain day in the nation’s past.
The defendant’s prior service was taken into consideration while determining Webster’s sentence, which resulted in a punishment that was less severe than the maximum. “I do not believe that you are an awful person. I suppose you let yourself get carried away in the moment,” Mehta told her. “And allowing yourself to get caught up in the moment has repercussions.”
The contradicting reports of the confrontation that took place between Webster and District of Columbia police officer Noah Rathbun outside the Capitol building on January 6 were at the center of Webster’s trial, which lasted for a total of four days and lasted for four days.
According to the statements given by the prosecutors, Webster pushed his way to the front of the crowd of Trump supporters that had gathered at the law enforcement cordon designed to protect the senators inside the Capitol on the morning of the attack.
After entering restricted grounds, the government asserts that Webster exclaimed at one of the officers, “You f***ing piece of shit,” after he had crossed into the restricted area. “You f***ing Communist motherf***ers, man,” she said. After that, the officer was allegedly assaulted by him while he was swinging over the police line using the flagpole.
Webster was accused by the government of attacking Rathbun by tackling him to the ground, pushing against his gas mask, and ultimately pinning the officer to the group. These actions were captured on police bodycam footage as well as open-source films.
Rathbun testified in front of the jury, “He threw me to the ground.” “I had nothing to do with provoking this confrontation.
On the other hand, Webster provided a very different account of the happenings; he asserted that he was “punched” in the face by a “rogue” police officer, which Rathbun categorically refuted. Webster claimed that he was the victim of the incident.
In a later statement made before the sentencing on Thursday, Mehta referred to this account as “completely fantastic.” Webster apologized to Rathbun, who was present in the room at the moment, while he was clearly overcome with emotion.
In the end, it only took the jury a few hours to come to the opposite conclusion, which was that Webster was guilty on all charges.