Oath Keepers defendant Jessica Watkins sentenced to 8.5 years in prison for role in Jan. 6 attack
Oath keepers Defendant Jessica Watkins — a military veteran from Ohio who founded a militia in the area — was sentenced Friday to eight and a half years in prison for his role. January 6, 2021, Capital Attack.
Last year, a jury convicted Watkins of several felony counts, including obstructing Congress and interfering with police, but he admitted to many of his actions during the riots and disputed any treasonous conduct from the stand. After making it, he was acquitted of the most serious conspiracy of rebellion.
Delivering a pre-written, emotionally raw expression of remorse in court today, Watkins told Judge Amit Mehta – on which On Thursday, Stewart Rhodes was sentenced to 18 years in prison. for plotting a mutiny — that she was remorseful for what she had done on January 6.
“My actions and my behavior that day were wrong and, as I understand it now, criminal,” Watkins said through tears, later saying she was “ashamed” of her conduct.
When he testified at trial, Watkins called himself “another idiot” inside the Capitol building, part of the crowd, and pointed to that testimony Friday.
“There is no justification for these officers to obstruct the hallway,” Watkins said. “My actions are reprehensible… today you are going to hold this idiot responsible. My actions added to the overall problem that was on January 6. I asked not to be judged for the beliefs I hold.” were wrongfully placed… or for crimes. Prosecutors wish I had committed the crime.”
He specifically apologized to the officers he obstructed, saying “Your honor, I am truly sorry for what I did that day.
Watkins was accused of mobilizing a group of Oath Keepers to travel to Washington, D.C. in support of then-President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Before the January 6, 2021 attack, prosecutors also said Watkins had stockpiled weapons outside Washington to bring to the Capitol.
Prosecutors said she arrived at the Capitol building from a Trump rally in the Alps, dressed in body armor and tactical gear. He then led the formation of a military-style stakeout to breach the building, the government said, where he admitted he interfered with law enforcement and other mob members past officers. Encouraged to move forward.
During the trial, the government presented the jury with several messages and recordings of Watkins discussing plans to visit the nation’s capital on Jan. 6 and announcing that the group had launched attacks on digital communications apps such as radio. During the “Attack on the Capitol”.
Watkins — who is transgender — said she went AWOL from military service after her identity came out last year. She said her roommate in the military denounced her and fled to Alaska because her family didn’t accept her.
During Friday’s sentencing, his attorney, Jonathan Crisp, said trauma and rejection contributed to his beliefs and risk of participating in a notorious riot. Crisp said his client acted to benefit from the beliefs that drove him to act on Jan. 6, including his anger toward the trans community.
“While Ms. Watkins has our sympathy, she is not exonerated of her actions. She cannot be,” prosecutors replied when Judge Mehta was asked what he intended to do about her “quite compelling story.” .
During the attack, according to prosecutors, “he escalated the effort with his body, by recruiting others, and with his words” and made “strategic” decisions once inside the Capitol.
After the riot, Watkins blamed law enforcement for the violation and never took responsibility for his actions, the government said. “His anger is a warning,” he said.
“Your role in these events is more than just a foot soldier. I think you can appreciate that,” Mehta said, describing several of the defendants, who he said were involved that day. Not in the Capitol, but for his recruiting efforts.
“You pushed others to accomplish your goals…and there was no sense of embarrassment or hesitation in the immediate aftermath, quite the opposite. Your comments were celebratory and captured the gravity of the day and “There was no real sense of your character. The sentence needs to reflect the seriousness of that character,” the judge said.
In handing down the 102-month sentence, Mehta said he believed Watkins first founded his militia group in Ohio to serve that community, but “somewhere along the line, what became the path, Averted,” possibly by online voices like Alex Jones, he added.
“You have overcome so much and you have to be portrayed as someone who can actually serve as a role model for others on this journey. Easily vilified and used for political purposes. Gone,” Mehta told Watkins during the sentencing. Mehta added that such trips made it difficult for him to overcome his lack of concern for victims of capital violations.
Mehta, agreeing with prosecutors, ruled to increase the sentence under anti-terrorism laws applicable to Watkins’ case, but ultimately sentenced him to prison under the guidelines.
On Thursday, the same judge sentenced Oath Keepers founder Stuart Rhodes to 18 years in prison and Florida Oath Keepers leader Kelly Maggs to 12 years in prison after both were convicted of conspiracy to commit treason, the highest ever. The serious charge was brought on January 6. Prosecutors say next week, four more members of the far-right group will be sentenced on charges of plotting a coup.