A Capitol rioter from Florida who was found guilty of two felony offenses and several related misdemeanors in late August following a bench trial should receive six and a half years in prison, prosecutors said in a newly filed sentencing memo.
The rioter, William Rogan Reid, has expressed a desire to kill those he opposes, proclaiming at one point he would be “Hitler on steroids.” Reid apparently made those comments in an audio recording he shared via Instagram in late January of last year. He went further with his apparent desire to be like the long dead Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, also insisting he would “eliminate their entire fucking bloodline.” (He’s not the only participant in the riot who has expressed affinity for Hitler. Another already sentenced rioter, New Jersey man Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, even wore a mustache modeled after Hitler’s distinctive facial hair to work.) Reid was also defiant regarding the possibility of jail-time. “Prison would be fun, but you’re not going to incarcerate me,” he said — again via Instagram — in March of last year.
In a sentencing memo from his corner, Reid’s defense tried to credit some of his issues to anxiety and alcohol use. Lots of people with mental health conditions don’t participate in a violent assault on a seat of democracy in which scores of police are attacked and multiple people die. Reid was originally found guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding and corruptly altering, destroying, mutilating, or concealing a record, document, or other objects, which are the felonies of which he was convicted. The latter charge connects to Reid’s attempt at disabling and hiding his personal cellphone when FBI agents showed up to execute an arrest warrant. A press release from the Justice Department also notes some of the intent necessary under relevant legal standards for an obstruction conviction. “Time to storm the Capitol,” Reid posted on social media as he approached the building early last year. He’s far from alone among Capitol rioters in having outlined his actions in specific terms on social media.
He entered the Capitol building within five minutes of the initial breach of the building, and while inside, he damaged a television and water cooler. Reid has claimed he was drinking during the day on January 6. He’s now scheduled to be sentenced December 7. Other riot participants who are facing recommendations from prosecutors for several years in prison apiece include William Ochs, the founder of the Hawaii chapter of the Proud Boys who participated in the chaos with his also charged associate William DeCarlo, who is from Texas and wrote “Murder the Media” on a door inside of the building while Ochs filmed. The two were involved with a social media presence that used that moniker.
“prison would be fun, but you’re not going to incarcerate me, motherf*ckers. The 6th was a warning.”
DOJ seeks 6.5 years in prison for Jan. 6 rioter William Rogan Reid, who said he'd be "Hitler on steroids." pic.twitter.com/Mn0qevvtMw
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) November 28, 2022
Image: Brett Davis/ Creative Commons