The Justice Department is seeking four years in prison apiece for two Capitol riot participants evidently involved with a social media presence known as “Murder the Media,” the name of which one of the men wrote on a door inside the Capitol while the other filmed.
The two are 36-year-old Nicholas Ochs, who hails from Honolulu, and 32-year-old Texas man Nicholas DeCarlo. Ochs was identified by the Justice Department as the founder of the Hawaii chapter of the far-right extremist organization known as the Proud Boys, and in the national group, Ochs has also held a position of organizational importance with involvement in administrative decisions like approving new chapters. Ochs and DeCarlo met up in D.C. according to government info, where they were among the first — although not the very first — inside the Capitol building, which they entered about 10 minutes after the initial breach of the building itself. Both pleaded guilty to the felony offense of obstruction of an official proceeding, which has repeatedly come up in Capitol riot cases.
Although the charge comes with up to 20 years in prison if found guilty, nobody who participated in the Capitol riot has received a sentence that long. Pleading guilty rather than going to trial — where Capitol violence prosecutors have a nearly perfect record in securing convictions — stands to help individual riot participants with securing shorter sentences, and for Ochs and DeCarlo, they will be facing whatever the judge decides on December 9. Prosecutors specifically asked for 51 months for Ochs and 48 months for DeCarlo, although judges in these proceedings have the freedom to impose something contradicting prosecutors’ recommendations.
In a portion of the government sentencing memo for Ochs that was highlighted by journalist Ryan Reilly, prosecutors note how he claimed to have simply been documenting what was happening at the Capitol as a journalist, although he was among those hurling smoke grenades at police defending the premises — not exactly a mark of journalistic interest! DeCarlo did the same. In photos showing Ochs and DeCarlo around the Capitol, the pair look what can only be reasonably described as giddy. They even took a photo with infamous riot participant Jacob Chansley (the guy who was walking around shirtless and in a piece of horned headgear), with the pair smiling broadly.
Predictably, it doesn’t seem as though “Murder the Media” is on YouTube. The sorts of photos they took and the tone of their actions inside the Capitol really make you wonder — what on earth did these people think was going to happen? Did they think they’d simply get away with joining a violent assault on the Capitol where sirens were blaring, chemical irritants were filling the air, police were at times facing savage assaults, and people were clearly injured — and, it quickly became clear, dying? What planet are they from? “We’re all felons!” DeCarlo flippantly exclaimed to Ochs at one point, according to apparent video from D.C. Yup! The pair also smoked cigarettes inside the Capitol, and DeCarlo called out for Nancy Pelosi, who was also sought by other rioters.
DOJ seeking 51 months incarceration for Proud Boy Nicholas Ochs, and 48 months incarceration for Nicholas DeCarlo in their Jan. 6 cases. pic.twitter.com/GDqSD9xBCT
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) November 26, 2022
Image: Anthony Crider/ Creative Commons