Capitol Rioter Gets Longest Sentence Yet

Judge gives Robert Palmer, who threw a fire extinguisher at police, 63 months
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2021 2:29 PM CST
Judge Gives Rioter More Than 5 Years
Insurrections riot outside the US Capitol on Jan. 6. A Florida man on Friday received the stiffest sentence so far in the prosecutions.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

(Newser) – A Capitol rioter convicted of assaulting police—using a fire extinguisher on officers and twice throwing the empty container at them—has received the longest sentence so far in the attack, 63 months. US District Judge Tanya Chutkan told Robert Palmer in court Friday in Washington that she's not making an example of him, she's sentencing him for his conduct, Axios reports. "It has to be made clear that trying to violently overthrow the government, trying to stop the peaceful transition of power, and assaulting law enforcement officers in that effort is going to be met with absolutely certain punishment," Chutkan said.

On Jan. 6, Palmer threw a piece of wood at police and sprayed the fire extinguisher at a line of officers, prosecutors said. He then threw the extinguisher, picked it up, and threw it again, NBC reports. He next threw a metal pole at other officers and only stopped his attack when he was shot with a rubber bullet. "Those officers were so brave standing there, just taking all the stuff that people were giving them, all the taunts, all the jeers and everything," Palmer, 54, of Tampa, told the court.

Palmer was among the first rioters to turn himself in. "I am so ashamed I was part of that. Very, very ashamed," he said Friday. His lawyer argued the sentence should be reduced because Palmer took responsibility for his role in the attack. But after pleading guilty in October, he had posted a claim online that he'd acted in self-defense. The judge agreed with prosecutors that despite his other statements, that showed a lack of remorse. "He was still denying his culpability for the offense," Chutkan said. (Read more Capitol attack stories.)

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