New York: A federal jury in New York has sentenced a former police officer to a record 10-year prison term for assaulting law enforcement officials during the January 6, 2021 Capitol riots, the media reported on Friday.
The jury handed the sentence on Thursday to the 56-year-old Thomas Webster who was convicted in May on multiple charges, including assaulting police and violent and disorderly conduct, reports the BBC.
Although over 860 people have been charged over their involvement in the attack so far, this is the longest prison term for a anyone who was involved in the insurrection.
The federal jury had earlier dismissed Webster’s argument that he had been acting in self-defence when he swung a metal flagpole at an officer and tackled another to the ground, holding him in a chokehold.
In pre-sentencing documents, the Marine Corps veteran disavowed former President Donald Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was stolen and included a letter of reference from a friend who blamed the Republican politician’s “despicable lies” for inducing Webster’s conduct.
The court has however, agreed to suspend the final 36 months of Webster’s term in defence to his 25 years service as a police officer and soldier.
According to the Justice Department, the investigation into the Capitol riots is one of the largest and most complex it has ever mounted, the BBC reported.
Till now, the Department has issued more than 5,000 subpoenas, seized about 2,000 electronic devices and reviewed more than 20,000 hours of video footage.
So far, more than 160 people have pleaded guilty in court.
The violence left at least nine people dead.