Jan. 6 defendant sentenced to 63 months in prison for assaulting police
A supporter of former President Trump who assaulted police officers during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 was sentenced to more than five years in prison, one of the longest Jan. 6 sentences handed down yet, Politico reports.
The big picture: Mark Ponder was caught on camera repeatedly swinging and striking at police officers with a long pole, according to the FBI affidavit in his case. After it broke, he found another pole that was even longer and again beat officers with it.
- While waiting for transport after he was detained, Ponder told other rioters: "When our country is being attacked with, like we are, we have a right to fight. … That is what the Second Amendment was built on," per the affidavit.
Driving the news: The Justice Department had asked for a five-year sentence for Ponder. District Judge Tanya Chutkan handed down five years and three months, per Politico.
- Ponder, 56, in April pleaded guilty to assaulting, resisting or impeding officers using a dangerous weapon.
- In interviews with the FBI, he described how "emotions were high" during the insurrection and how he believed "the election was stolen," per the DOJ.
- He also "faulted the officers for their failure to join ranks with the rioters."
Zoom out: Axios' Cuneyt Dil reported in May that nearly 40% of Jan. 6 defendants sentenced have received prison time.