First Guilty Pleas for Assaulting Officers Could Set Standard

Lawyer says Capitol riot participant's life is wrecked
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 6, 2021 4:08 PM CDT
First Guilty Pleas for Assaulting Officers Could Set Standard
Rioters loyal to President Trump hold on to a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

A New Jersey gym owner and a Washington state man on Friday became the first people charged in the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol to plead guilty to assaulting a law enforcement officer during the deadly siege. The pair of plea deals with federal prosecutors could be a benchmark for dozens of other cases in which Capitol rioters are charged with attacking police, the AP reports. An attorney for Scott Kevin Fairlamb, a former mixed martial arts fighter who owned Fairlamb Fit gym in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, said prosecutors are seeking a sentencing guideline range of about 3½ to 4½ years in prison. Later Friday, the same judge in Washington, DC, ordered Devlyn Thompson jailed in Seattle after he pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer with a dangerous weapon, a baton. Thompson, 28, had been free since the riot. Fairlamb, 44, whose brother is a Secret Service agent, was one of the first rioters to breach the Capitol after others smashed windows using riot shields and kicked out a locked door, federal prosecutors said.

After leaving the building, Fairlamb harassed a line of police officers, shouting in their faces and blocking them, prosecutors wrote in a filing. A video shows him holding a collapsible baton and shouting, "What (do) patriots do? We f****** disarm them and then we storm the f****** Capitol!" US District Judge Royce Lamberth set sentencing for Sept. 27 for both Thompson and Fairlamb, who has been jailed since his Jan. 22 arrest. Thompson wasn't arrested after he was charged last month with one count of assaulting a Metropolitan Police officer. His attorneys said in a filing that he has autism spectrum disorder. They cited that as a reason for keeping him out of jail while awaiting sentencing. It wasn't immediately clear what prosecutors estimate the sentencing guidelines should be for Thompson. Fairlamb’s involvement in the riot has "eviscerated large parts of his life," his attorney said. "He has lost his business. The mortgage on his home where he lives with his wife is in peril. And he has been publicly disgraced."

(Read more Capitol attack stories.)

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