A Pennsylvania man was sentenced on Friday to just about three years in jail for assaulting an Related Press photographer and attacking cops with a stun gun through the U.S. Capitol riot.
Alan Byerly apologized to his victims earlier than U.S. District Choose Randolph Moss sentenced him to 2 years and 10 months in jail adopted by three years of supervised launch. Byerly will get credit score for the greater than 15 months he already has served behind bars since his arrest, in keeping with his legal professionals.
“I didn’t go to D.C. to hurt anybody,” Byerly advised the choose.
Byerly, 55, pleaded responsible in July to assaulting AP photographer John Minchillo after which activating a stun gun as he charged at cops who have been attempting to carry off the mob that shaped exterior the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Byerly stated he was an “antagonistic jerk” when he confronted the officers. He additionally stated he assaulted Minchillo after listening to a voice say, “That’s antifa. Get him out of right here.”
Minchillo was carrying a lanyard with AP lettering when Byerly and different rioters attacked him on the Capitol’s Decrease West Terrace, in keeping with a courtroom submitting accompanying Byerly’s responsible plea. Byerly grabbed Minchillo, pushed him backward and dragged him towards a crowd, the submitting says. One other AP photographer captured the assault on video.
“I ought to have by no means gotten concerned, and I’m deeply sorry for my actions,” Byerly stated.
Prosecutors sought a sentence of at the least three years and 10 months of imprisonment, adopted by three years of supervised launch. Protection legal professionals requested a sentence beneath an estimated pointers vary of 37 to 46 months in jail.
Moss stated he believed Byerly is genuinely remorseful for his function within the mob’s “assault on democracy.” The choose stated it was clear that Byerly couldn’t have injured anyone with the cheap stun gun that he delivered to the Capitol, however the officers couldn’t have recognized that given the sound that it made.
“They have been clearly frightened by it,” Moss stated. “It undoubtedly added to the concern the officers felt that day.”
Minchillo “should have been extraordinarily frightened, as nicely,” the choose added.
None of Byerly’s victims attended his sentencing listening to.
Byerly purchased the stun gun earlier than touring from his house in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania, to Washington, D.C., for the “Cease the Steal” rally on Jan. 6. Leaving the rally earlier than then-President Donald Trump completed talking, Byerly went to the west aspect of the Capitol and joined different rioters in utilizing a metallic Trump billboard as a battering ram towards police, prosecutors stated.
Later, Byerly approached cops behind bike racks and deployed his stun gun. After officers grabbed the stun gun from Byerly’s arms, he charged at them, struck and pushed them and grabbed an officer’s baton, prosecutors stated. One of many officers fell and landed on his arms whereas attempting to restrain Byerly.
Protection attorneys stated the mannequin of stun gun that Byerly bought for $24.99 was thought-about to be “junk” by engineering consultants.
“Moreover, shortly after buying the machine, Mr. Byerly had unintentionally activated it on himself and thus knew that it couldn’t trigger damage and even ache,” the protection legal professionals wrote in a courtroom submitting.
Different rioters helped him elude seize that day, however Byerly was arrested in July 2021. He advised FBI brokers that he did simply “one silly factor down there and that’s all it was,” in keeping with prosecutors.
“This was a reference to how he dealt with the reporter and nothing extra,” they wrote in a courtroom submitting.
Byerly, a carpenter by commerce and father of 4 kids, has remained in custody since his arrest greater than 15 months in the past.
Roughly 900 folks have been charged with federal crimes for his or her conduct on Jan. 6. Greater than 420 of them have pleaded responsible, principally to misdemeanor offenses. Almost 300 have been sentenced, with roughly half of them getting phrases of imprisonment starting from seven days to 10 years, in keeping with an AP evaluate of courtroom information.
Greater than 100 cops have been injured through the Jan. 6 riot. Over 270 defendants have been charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding officers or workers on the Capitol, in keeping with the Justice Division. Byerly is certainly one of a number of defendants charged with assaulting members of the information media or destroying their gear on the Capitol.