‘Proud Boy’ Sentenced To Two Years In Prison For Jan 6 Police Assault

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Another member of the Trump-incited mob that descended on the Capitol early last year was sentenced to prison this week. The sentence was two years.

The rioter, 41-year-old Ricky Christopher Willden, previously said he was a member of the far-right organization known as the Proud Boys and appeared at a September 2020 rally for the group in Portland, Oregon. At the Capitol, Willden used chemical spray against police, and once he’d finished with the canister he was wielding, he threw it at cops. Like other participants in the mob attack, Willden also posted triumphantly on social media not long after the riot originally happened. “I think they got the message from everyone of all ages,” he said on Facebook. Willden was among those who made it inside the Capitol building as the riot progressed. He was originally arrested in connection to the riot in June of last year, and he pleaded guilty to a single charge of assaulting police in early April of this year.

Willden is also facing three years of supervised release following his stint in prison and a financial penalty of $2,000 in restitution. Willden is from Oakhurst, California, which is in an evidently Republican-leaning area of the state. Willden ended up under law enforcement scrutiny outside of his implication in the Capitol violence last year; his personal history includes an arrest in May of last year (after the Capitol riot) for felony assault. Originally, Willden faced a slew of additional charges in connection to the D.C. violence, although those were essentially set aside in the course of him accepting the plea deal. Those additional charges included civil disorder, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, and an act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings, among other allegations.

In a statement of offense in Willden’s case (a document that outlined the facts to which the defendant was agreeing when pleading guilty), prosecutors described how Willden “knew that the officers were engaged in the performance of official duties” when assaulting those police in D.C. Meanwhile, prosecutors recently unveiled their sentencing argument for Thomas Robertson, a former Virginia police officer (who was still employed as such at the time of the riot). Robertson, who was found guilty at trial, should get eight years, prosecutors said. He brought a large wooden stick with him from Virginia to D.C. and wielded it against officers during the Capitol chaos; Robertson characterized the item as a flagpole, in a potential attempt at making it seem innocuous, but prosecutors disputed that characterization. A man named Jacob Fracker with whom Robertson used to work at the Rocky Mount Police Department in Virginia and who went with Robertson to the Capitol violence testified at Robertson’s recent trial after striking a plea deal.