A man who helped assault police officers during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was sentenced to almost four years in prison Monday, prosecutors said.
The 46-month sentence for the man, Devlyn Thompson, 28, is among the longer prison terms handed down in the riot by a pro-Trump mob as Congress was counting the electoral votes in President Joe Biden’s win.
Thompson helped a mob that was seizing riot shields from police officers and used a metal baton he’d found to try to knock a pepper spray canister from an officer’s hand, prosecutors said.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth said during sentencing that “the attack on the Capitol that day was an attack on the very rule of law in our country.”
Thompson’s attorney argued in court documents that Thompson has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, has the social understanding of a child and was suggestible.
“In contrast to individuals who planned to change the election results by storming the Capitol building with brute force, Mr. Thompson’s understanding of what was happening was naive and inaccurate,” she wrote.
Thompson apologized in a letter to the officer that was filed in court and wrote that his behavior was “inexcusable.” He wrote that he was still trying to understand his actions.
“I’m deeply sorry for the danger that you were put in on behalf of my recklessness,” Thompson wrote.
Thompson was sentenced days after another judge handed down the longest prison term so far in the Jan. 6 attack.
On Friday, Robert Palmer, 54, of Tampa, Florida, who was charged with repeatedly assaulting police officers, was sentenced to 63 months, or five years and three months.
Last month, a New Jersey gym owner and former mixed martial arts fighter, Scott Fairlamb, 44, was sentenced to three years and five months in prison. He pleaded guilty to hitting a police officer’s face shield.