Nov 10, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Capitol rioter gets 41 months in longest Jan. 6 sentence

Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Images
Photo: Evelyn Hockstein/for the Washington Post via Getty Images

A former mixed martial arts fighter was sentenced to 41 months in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to assaulting a police officer, a felony charge stemming from his participation in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Scott Fairlamb, 44, is the first Jan. 6 rioter to be ordered to serve years behind bars. The sentence could set a benchmark for other cases that prosecutors have brought against people involved in the attack.

What they're saying: Ahead of the sentence, Judge Royce Lamberth told Fairlamb, of New Jersey, that pleading guilty was the right decision, adding that "had you gone to trial, I don't think there's any jury that could have acquitted you," per CNN.

  • "It is clear that Mr. Fairlamb is not a danger to the community," Fairlamb’s lawyer wrote in a sentencing memo.
  • "He is sincerely remorseful and will never repeat the crimes to which he pled guilty," he added.
  • "Mr. Fairlamb has a family ready to provide strong support for his return as a law-abiding and productive member of society."

The backdrop: Prosecutors had sought 44 months in prison for Fairlamb, who shoved a police officer and punched his face shield. Federal sentencing guidelines for similar offenses suggest between 41 and 51 months in prison.

  • Fairlamb had a criminal record before the insurrection attempt, which included two past convictions for violent assaults, according to the sentencing memorandum.
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