A former police officer has been convicted of obstruction of Congress and 5 different costs following his participation within the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.
A federal jury on Monday discovered Thomas Robertson, 49, responsible of all six counts associated to his storming of the Capitol. Jacob Fracker, Robertson’s fellow former Rocky Mount, Virginia, police officer, had initially been scheduled to face trial alongside him however pleaded responsible final month to conspiring to hinder an official continuing and as a substitute served as a key witness for the prosecution.
Along with obstruction of Congress, the Washington, D.C., jury additionally convicted Robertson on costs of getting into a restricted space whereas carrying a harmful weapon; interfering with officers throughout a civil dysfunction; disorderly or disruptive conduct contained in the Capitol constructing; disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted space whereas carrying a harmful weapon, which was a big picket stick; and obstruction associated to destroying proof after the riot.
Robertson was the second January 6 suspect to face trial by jury. The primary, 49-year-old Man Reffitt of Texas, was convicted of 5 felonies final month. Though Reffitt was not accused of getting into the Capitol like Robertson, he may additionally resist 20 years in jail in a sentencing listening to set for June 8.
U.S. District Choose Christopher Cooper revoked Robertson’s pretrial launch final July after he was accused of illegally stockpiling 34 firearms and making an attempt to disguise the acquisition of ammunition. The decide wrote in his choice that Robertson had “expressed pride in his role” within the Capitol riot and “enthusiasm for the prospect of future political violence.”
In court docket filings requesting his pre-trial detention, prosecutors stated that Robertson, regardless of “holding a position of public trust as a police officer, traveled to the District of Columbia and participated in one of the most riotous acts of insurrection the nation has ever seen. Then, he repeatedly and flagrantly disregarded the court’s orders not to possess firearms.”
Robertson and Fracker have been each fired from the Rocky Mount Police Division in early 2021 after a photograph was shared with colleagues that confirmed them posing with prolonged center fingers alongside a statue of John Stark contained in the Capitol.
Fracker testified that he and Robertson had participated within the assault on the Capitol within the perception they they may forestall Congress from certifying President Joe Biden‘s 2020 election victory, in accordance to the Related Press. Each males believed former President Donald Trump‘s false claims that the election had been “stolen” from him.
Robertson didn’t testify at his trial, which lasted for 3 days and was adopted by 1 1/2 days of jury deliberations. Protection legal professional Mark Rollins reportedly argued that Robertson must be convicted of solely misdemeanor costs, telling the jury that there “were no plans to go down there and say, ‘I’m going to stop Congress from doing this vote.”
“I think the government made a really compelling case and the evidence was fairly overwhelming,” a juror who spoke to the Related Press on the situation of anonymity stated as she left the courthouse.
Federal costs have been filed towards greater than 770 alleged Capitol riot contributors, with over 250 defendants having pleaded responsible to costs that consist largely of misdemeanors.
Newsweek reached out to Rollins for remark.