Capitol rioter gets harshest sentence yet: More than 5 years behind bars

A Capitol rioter who attacked police officers working to keep back the angry mob on Jan. 6 was sentenced Friday to more than five years behind bars, the most so far for anyone sentenced in the insurrection.

Robert Palmer, 54, of Largo, Florida, wept as he told U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan that he recently watched a video of his actions that day and could not believe what he was seeing.

“Your honor. I’m really really ashamed of what I did,” he said weeping.

Palmer was one of a few rioters sentenced on Friday in District of Columbia court for their actions on Jan. 6 when the angry mob descended after a rally by then-President Donald Trump to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.

Scores of police were beaten and blooded, five people died and there was about $1.5 million in damage done to the U.S. Capitol. Palmer is the 65th defendant to be sentenced overall. More than 700 people have been charged.

Palmer made his way to the front line during the chaos and started to attack, throwing a wooden plank, spraying a fire extinguisher, then hurling it when it was done. He rooted around for other objects, prosecutors said. He was briefly pepper-sprayed by police before he attacked officers again with a pole. He pleaded guilty to attacking officers.

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