WASHINGTON — A Donald Trump supporter pleaded guilty Thursday to assaulting U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died after the Jan. 6 attack.
Julian Khater, 33, pleaded guilty to two counts of assaulting law enforcement officers in a virtual court appearance Thursday before U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan. Khater admitted that he sprayed two officers in the face with the chemical irritant: Sicknick and Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards. Sentencing was set for Dec. 13.
The charges come with a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, although under sentencing guidelines his sentence would likely be 78 to 97 months in federal prison.
Khater was arrested in New Jersey in March 2021 and originally charged with assault on a federal officer with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to injure an officer, civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding and several misdemeanors.
George Tanios, Khater's codefendant, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts in July.
Sicknick died of natural causes after the Jan. 6 attack, but the medical examiner said that what transpired during the attack played a role in his death.
Capitol Police said after the medical examiner's finding that Sicknick "died in the Line of Duty, courageously defending Congress and the Capitol." The death of Washington Metropolitan Police Officer Jeffrey Smith by suicide days after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot was also declared a line-of-duty death this year.
As part of his plea deal in July, Tanios admitted he bought two canisters of bear spray and two canisters of pepper spray. He said Khater got a can of bear spray out of his backpack while they were on restricted grounds.
More than 850 people have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, and more than 350 have pleaded guilty. There are hundreds more arrests to come.