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Ohio man who attacked police officers on Jan. 6 sentenced to nearly 5 years in prison

Ohio man who assaulted law enforcement officers during the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol and who, according to the Justice Department, became a ‘one-man disinformation machine’ by spreading lies online about what happened that day, was sentenced on January 6, 2021. Thursday to four years and 10 months in prison.

The man, Kenneth Joseph Owen Thomas, 41, of East Liverpool, Ohio, said online that his conviction in June on four counts related to his attacks on police officers was a “huge victory,” doubling down on his attacks that day, prosecutors said. in court documents.

They highlighted his apparent lack of regret in their sentencing note, saying Mr Thomas had “expressed no remorse for his crimes” and was instead “seeking fame and notoriety” after becoming part of the mob January 6th.

Judge Dabney Friedrich of the United States District Court in Washington also ordered Mr. Thomas to pay a fine of $20,000 and restitution of $2,000.

Federal prosecutors, who had asked that Mr. Thomas be sentenced to about nine years in prison, said in court records that it was difficult to exaggerate the spread of his lies: He started his own Web page and brand centered on his identity that he created himself as a businessman. rioter; he produced more than 20 hours of content related to January 6 each week; and he repeatedly falsely claimed that “Jan. 6 was a set-up.

“The only reliable method to protect the community from Thomas in the future is to remove him from the community for a significant period of time,” prosecutors said.

Mr. Thomas could not be reached for comment Thursday evening and his lawyer, Joseph R. Conte, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Mr. Conte said in a sentencing memo that his client, a U.S. Navy veteran, was “brutally aware of the seriousness of his conduct” and that he “continues to take full and complete responsibility for his actions.” .

More than 1,000 people from nearly all 50 states have been arrested in connection with crimes related to the Capitol riot, according to the Justice Department. Some of these people had expressed remorse or shame in court for their actions on the day of the attack. Mr. Thomas, however, does not fall into that camp, prosecutors argued.

“Not only did Thomas attempt to minimize, and in some cases magnify, his conduct on January 6,” prosecutors said, “he minimized the experience of those he assaulted.”

In court documents, prosecutors said Mr. Thomas told his wife and daughter to stay put before entering the Capitol grounds, joined a violent crowd that had gathered on the Upper West Terrace and encouraged the group to “stay the course.”

He harassed police, prosecutors said, shouting “This is our house” and “Traitors, traitors, traitors.”

Around 3:30 p.m., Mr. Thomas ran up the steps toward the officers, then “punched and/or violently drove his fists directly into” the chest of an officer, according to court documents.

Moments later, Mr. Thomas charged up the steps again, “again striking and/or violently pushing his fists” at a second officer, according to court documents.

He then repeatedly pushed a corporal who was part of the police line, according to the documents, and Mr. Thomas, standing in front of the crowd, shouted in the officers’ faces: “You woke up a sleeping giant!”

Law enforcement officers told prosecutors that Mr. Thomas was “one of the first to enter and begin punching (and) pushing officers on the line,” the Department of Defense said. Justice in a press release in June.

Mr. Thomas profited from his actions that day after appearing on podcasts and webcasts to discuss his case and charges, prosecutors said, adding that he received more than $77,000 in donations.

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