An Ohio man who repeatedly attacked law enforcement officials as he joined a mob of Donald Trump supporters storming the US Capitol was sentenced Thursday to almost 5 years in jail.
Kenneth Joseph Owen Thomas has operated as a “one-man disinformation machine” for the reason that Jan. 6, 2021, riot, utilizing his social media platforms to unfold false narratives concerning the assault, in accordance with federal prosecutors. They are saying Thomas produces greater than 20 hours of on-line content material associated to January 6 every week.
“The important thing message Thomas tries to get throughout throughout all of his appearances is that ‘January sixth was a setup,’ the phrases emblazoned entrance and middle on the touchdown web page of the web site and ‘model’ he created after his arrest.” The plaintiffs wrote in a lawsuit.
U.S. District Choose Dabney Friedrich sentenced Thomas, 41, of East Liverpool, Ohio, to 4 years and 10 months in jail, in accordance with on-line court docket information. The choose additionally ordered him to pay a nice of $20,000 and compensation of $2,000.
Prosecutors really useful a jail sentence of 9 years and one month and demanded a nice of $77,607. They are saying Thomas raised a minimum of that a lot cash in on-line boards, together with a web site known as “Assist Joseph Thomas Let Liberty Sing.”
Thomas was arrested in Huntsville, Alabama, in Could 2021. In June 2023, a jury in Washington, D.C., convicted Thomas of assault and different crimes. Jurors additionally acquitted him on two costs, together with obstruction of congressional proceedings, and deadlocked on two different costs.
Thomas’ attorneys stated he “acutely acknowledges the seriousness of his conduct” on Jan. 6 and takes “full and full accountability for his actions.”
“Not one of the officers contacted by Mr. Thomas on January 6 reported any bodily ache or accidents attributable to Mr. Thomas. Actually, a minimum of one of many officers publicly admitted underneath oath in open court docket that he didn’t bear in mind Mr. Thomas in any respect. “The defense attorneys wrote.
Greater than 100 law enforcement officials have been injured on the Capitol, the place the mob briefly prevented Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory over Trump.
Thomas attended Trump’s Jan. 6 “Cease the Steal” rally close to the White Home along with his spouse and daughter, however left them behind as he walked to the Capitol.
Prosecutors stated Thomas bodily and verbally attacked police strains and urged different rioters to “maintain the road” with him. He additionally repeatedly shouted on the police, demanding that they “stand down” and joined chants calling them “traitors.”
Police physique digicam video confirmed Thomas attacking a line of riot law enforcement officials, pushing one officer who had pushed him down a flight of stairs.
“Undeterred, Thomas was not deterred as soon as, so he raised his arms once more and took off at full pace down the steps once more,” prosecutors wrote.
A video clip exhibits him pushing one other officer’s chest. Over the subsequent hour, he continued to harass and reply to officers making an attempt to clear the Capitol’s Higher West Terrace, prosecutors stated.
A police officer who testified at Thomas’ trial stated the rioters turned their backs to police, linked arms and pushed en masse in opposition to the road of officers.
“Once we have been making an attempt to push, I bear in mind being squeezed so exhausting that it felt like my lungs have been collapsing. It felt like they could not increase. I could not breathe,” the officer stated, in accordance with prosecutors.
Thomas gave the impression to be dwell streaming video of himself attacking police, in accordance with prosecutors.
“Regardless of Thomas’s continued efforts to reduce and even reward his habits, he was a significant determine in a violent riot and assaulted a number of law enforcement officials,” prosecutors wrote.
Thomas served within the US Navy however was dismissed after being disciplined thrice for misconduct. He additionally has a felony document that features convictions for home battery and housebreaking, in accordance with prosecutors.
Almost 1,200 individuals have been charged with federal crimes associated to the Capitol riot. Greater than 800 of them pleaded responsible or have been discovered responsible by a jury or choose after a trial. Greater than 700 of them have been sentenced, and almost two-thirds of them have been sentenced to jail phrases starting from three days to 22 years.