Updated Oct 21, 2022 - Politics & Policy

High-profile Jan. 6 rioters sentenced to years-long prison terms

Photo of people climbing walls on Capitol grounds

Trump supporters breach the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Multiple Jan. 6 rioters, including one who assaulted a police officer while armed and another who scaled a wall, were sentenced to several years in prison Friday.

Driving the news: Mark Mazza, an Indiana man who brought two guns to the insurrection, was sentenced to five years in prison, while Alan Byerly of Pennsylvania was sentenced to nearly three years in prison for assaulting a photojournalist and attacking police officers while armed with a stun gun.

  • Matthew Bledsoe, a Tennessee man who climbed a wall and entered the Capitol through a door with a broken window, was also sentenced to four years.

Mazza "engaged in multiple efforts to break through the police line" while armed with a loaded .40 caliber handgun, prosecutors said, and assaulted police officers with a stolen baton.

  • District Judge James E. Boasberg acknowledged that Mazza helped officers after the mob assault, but called his actions before that "incredibly alarming," NBC reported.
  • Mazza pleaded guilty to carrying a loaded gun on Capitol grounds and assaulting law enforcement officers in June. He has said he regrets his actions and that he was carried away by the mob mentality.

Byerly was sentenced to two years and 10 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, per AP.

  • Byerly and other rioters "pushed, shoved, and dragged" AP photographer John Minchillo, the Department of Justice said. He also struck and pushed police officers after they took his stun gun.
  • Byerly apologized to his victims before the sentencing Friday. He pleaded guilty in July.

In Bledsoe's case, chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell said Friday that his testimony, which claimed that he didn't know Congress was certifying the 2020 election on Jan. 6, was not credible, and that Bledsoe knew "what was going on," per NBC.

The big picture: Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon was also sentenced to four months in prison on Friday and ordered to pay a $6,500 fine for defying a subpoena from the Jan. 6 select committee.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with details about Mazza and Byerly's sentencings.

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