North Carolina resident Virginia Marie “Jenny” Spencer has been sentenced to three months in jail for her participation in last year’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol — to which she and her husband brought their teenage son amid the violence. Federal Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who delivered Spencer’s sentence, criticized her for displaying what she characterized as a “complete lack of judgment” in bringing her relatively young son to the Capitol complex. Although Spencer herself ended up striking a deal with prosecutors that saw her pleading guilty to a single misdemeanor offense, serious violence unfolded across the Capitol complex while the Spencers made their way through it last year.
The judge noted, discussing the Spencers’ decision to bring their son: “It must have been a traumatic experience to witness this kind of violence… It’s a complete lack of judgment on your part.” It’s not the first time that a child has come up in court proceedings related to the riot. Montana resident and member of the crowd Boyd Camper brought his even younger son with him to the Capitol — the child has been identified as 10 years old, but unlike the Spencers, Camper left his son outside of the Capitol with an adult friend. Camper was later sentenced to two months in prison for his part of the riot.
Meanwhile, besides the 90 days of incarceration, Jenny Spencer has also been sentenced to three years of probation that’s set for once that portion of her punishment draws to a close. Kollar-Kotelly appears to have granted the sentencing request for Spencer from prosecutors, who were after three months in jail; Spencer’s side wanted one year of probation, apparently with no jail-time. While at the Capitol, the Spencers could be seen in the office of House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and Jenny appears to have originally faced a charge of obstruction of an official proceeding, which is a felony offense — but which prosecutors apparently agreed to set aside in putting together her plea agreement. She ended up pleading guilty to illegally parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol, which comes with up to six months of jail-time.
Other recent notable Capitol riot sentencings include the case of Leonard Pearson “Pearce” Ridge IV, who is just 20 years old and was 19 at the time that he participated in the riot. His lawyer, Carina Laguzzi, suggested in his defense that his brain may not have been fully developed at the time of the riot, considering his age. Ridge ended up getting sentenced to 14 days of incarceration and one year of probation, in addition to getting slapped with 100 hours of community service and a $1,000 fine. He expressed remorse for his actions, unlike Trump.
The reason Trump is not in office today is because he didn’t receive enough votes to win the election.
The people said so. The states said so. The courts said so. The facts said so.
The Big Lie is poisoning our democracy. We will act to protect our democracy and voting rights.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 7, 2022