Three Years In Prison For A Columbus Guy Who Blamed Trump For Stealing From The Capitol

Three Years In Prison For A Columbus Guy Who Blamed Trump For Stealing From The Capitol

On Friday, a guy from Columbus was given a prison term of three years after he failed in his attempt to argue that he should not be held responsible for joining insurrectionists on January 6, 2021, in the United States Capitol.

Dustin Byron Thompson claimed that then-president Donald Trump instructed him to rob the Capitol building, where he took a coat rack, alcohol, and a pager. Thompson accused Trump of the robbery. In April, a federal jury found Thompson, 38 years old, guilty of one felony count of obstruction of official action and five minor charges.

On Friday, Thompson appeared in federal court in Washington, D.C., where he was sentenced to three years in prison and three years of probation by U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton. In addition, Walton ordered Thompson to make restitution for $2,000. The time that Thompson has already spent behind bars will be credited to him.

The prosecuting attorneys for the United States had requested five years and ten months prison term. Andrew M. Stewart, who represented Thompson, advocated on his client’s behalf for a sentence of one year in jail.

Although several suspects in the Capitol riots have accepted plea deals, Thompson has decided to fight the allegations against him in court, utilising an innovative defence strategy. During his testimony at his trial, Thompson stated, “I was obeying presidential directions.”

At the trial, Thompson’s attorney in Columbus, Sam Shamansky, argued that Thompson and other defendants had been brainwashed to believe that the presidential election in 2020, which President Joe Biden won by more than seven million votes, had been stolen, and that they were acting on the direction of Trump to go to the Capitol and “fight like hell.”

Three Years In Prison For A Columbus Guy Who Blamed Trump For Stealing From The Capitol
Three Years In Prison For A Columbus Guy Who Blamed Trump For Stealing From The Capitol

On Friday, a guy from Columbus was given a prison term of three years after he failed in his attempt to argue that he should not be held responsible for joining insurrectionists on January 6, 2021, in the United States Capitol.

Dustin Byron Thompson claimed that then-president Donald Trump instructed him to rob the Capitol building, where he took a coat rack, alcohol, and a pager. Thompson accused Trump of the robbery. In April, a federal jury found Thompson, 38 years old, guilty of one felony count of obstruction of official action and five minor charges.

On Friday, Thompson appeared in federal court in Washington, D.C., where he was sentenced to three years in prison and three years of probation by U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton. In addition, Walton ordered Thompson to make restitution for $2,000. The time that Thompson has already spent behind bars will be credited to him.

The prosecuting attorneys for the United States had requested five years and ten months prison term. Andrew M. Stewart, who represented Thompson, advocated on his client’s behalf for a sentence of one year in jail.

Although several suspects in the Capitol riots have accepted plea deals, Thompson has decided to fight the allegations against him in court, utilising an innovative defence strategy. “I was following presidential orders,” Thompson testified at his trial.

At the trial, Thompson’s attorney in Columbus, Sam Shamansky, argued that Thompson and other defendants had been brainwashed to believe that the presidential election in 2020, which President Joe Biden won by more than seven million votes, had been stolen, and that they were acting on the direction of Trump to go to the Capitol and “fight like hell.”

During the pandemic, Thompson slipped down a rabbit hole of misinformation and conspiracy theories, and in a letter to the court, he apologised and asked for leniency in his sentence. He also blamed the rabbit hole on himself.

During his hearing to determine his sentence, Thompson stated, “I love America, and I’m embarrassed by my acts on that day.” “There is no justification for the actions that I took.” Walton handed down a sentence of forty days in prison to Robert Anthony Lyon in September. Lyon was the co-defendant of Thompson. Lyon, 28 years old and hailing from Reynoldsburg, Ohio, had previously agreed to a plea bargain and pled guilty to two misdemeanour crimes.

According to Stewart, who took over as Thompson’s counsel in May when Shamansky resigned, Thompson rejected a plea bargain offered by federal prosecutors in exchange for a sentence of at least sixty days in jail.

Before passing the sentence on Thompson, Walton expressed his understanding of how intelligent people can be led astray by misinformation. Still, he emphasised the importance of sending a clear message that attacks on democratic institutions will not be accepted. Walton told him, “If you had your way, you would have torn this country down and made this country a dictatorship.” “You did not love the United States of America that day.”

In the court records, federal prosecutors wrote that Lyon and Thompson entered the Senate Parliamentarian’s office inside the Capitol, where insurrectionists were robbing the office. According to the prosecutors, the insurrectionists intended to disrupt the certification of the presidential election that would take place in 2020 by Congress, and the Senate Parliamentarian and her team played a crucial part in that certification.

Thompson admitted at trial that he had stolen a bottle of vodka, a coat rack, and a pager that belonged to the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms. These items were all taken from the Senate.

According to the authorities, Thompson took a video of himself enjoying the riot while inside the building. During the trial, Thompson, who had previously posed with the coat rack outside, attempted to claim that he had taken the rack to stop the crowd from using it as a weapon against the police. After more consideration, Thompson conceded in his letter to the court pleading for leniency that his previous evidence was not genuine.

During the sentencing hearing, Assistant United States Attorney William Kennelly Dreher stated the assertion made by Thompson during the trial. At the same time, he was under oath insulted United States Capitol police officers, of which more than one hundred were injured on January 6.

During the sentencing, Walton reprimanded Thompson for his deceptive behaviour. Dreher also brought up the fact that Thompson wore a bulletproof vest on January 6 — which Thompson claimed he found on the ground that day — as further evidence that Thompson was ready for violent encounters.

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