Proud Boys Leader's Sentencing Delayed due to Judge's Illness

21:44 30.08.2023

Former Proud Boys national leader Enrique Tarrio's sentencing for orchestrating the far-right extremist group's attack on the U.S. Capitol has been delayed until September 5 due to the trial judge falling ill. The government is seeking a 33-year sentence for Tarrio, which is nearly twice the length of the longest prison term given in the hundreds of riot prosecutions. Tarrio had already been arrested and ordered to leave Washington before the attack took place, but prosecutors argue that he organized and led the group's assault from afar. Tarrio was a top target in one of the most significant Capitol riot cases prosecuted by the Justice Department.

The sentencing also serves as a reminder of the role that former President Donald Trump's false claims played in inspiring right-wing extremists who stormed the Capitol. In fact, the Justice Department has recently charged Trump with conspiring to subvert American democracy, accusing him of plotting to overturn the 2020 election results. Trump denies any wrongdoing, and his trial is set for March 4.

The recommended prison sentence for Tarrio is almost twice as long as the harshest punishment given so far in the January 6 prosecutions. Prosecutors are also seeking lengthy sentences for Tarrio's co-defendants, Joseph Biggs, Ethan Nordean, and Zachary Rehl. The government is recommending prison sentences of 33 years for Biggs, 27 years for Nordean, and 30 years for Rehl.

Tarrio's lawyers, however, deny that the Proud Boys had any plan to attack the Capitol and argue that he is being used as a scapegoat for Trump's actions. They highlight Tarrio's history of cooperating with law enforcement and describe him as a benevolent, hardworking individual with community support.

Tarrio was initially arrested in Washington on charges of defacing a Black Lives Matter banner before the riot, but was later ordered to leave the city. On January 6, members of the Proud Boys, including Tarrio's subordinates, were among the first to breach the Capitol. Prosecutors have presented messages exchanged between Tarrio and other group leaders as evidence of his involvement and leadership in the attack.

The sentencing of Tarrio and his co-defendants comes as part of the broader effort to hold individuals accountable for the Capitol assault. Over 1,100 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the attack, with more than 600 of them already sentenced to terms of imprisonment. The assault resulted in the deaths of five people, including a police officer, and left over 140 police officers injured. The damage to the Capitol has been estimated to be in the millions of dollars.

The judge will now consider the sentencing recommendations for Tarrio and his co-defendants, including the possibility of applying a terrorism enhancement to their sentences. The outcome of the case will have significant implications for future prosecutions related to the Capitol riot.

/ Wednesday, August 30, 2023, 9:44 PM /

themes:  Donald Trump  Washington

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