Involved with the far-right group the Proud Boys on January 6, when he participated in the assault on the Capitol and infamously broke a window helping open the building to others in the crowd, Dominic Pezzola has now been sentenced to 10 years in prison by federal Judge Timothy Kelly.
Though Pezzola, unlike others connected to that group, was not convicted of the criminal charge alleging seditious conspiracy, he was previously found guilty of allegations as steep as assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers, and prosecutors had reportedly pushed for 20 years of prison. Pezzola broke that window at the Capitol with a riot shield that originated with police. During that day’s fateful events, many others also used as weapons various implements that were taken from the police officers trying to defend the premises.
Members of Pezzola’s family spoke during his sentencing proceedings on Friday. That list included a young adult daughter of his and the defendant’s own mother, as recapped by NBC News. Pezzola himself also spoke, expressing regret for his actions. All the expressions of remorse from participants in the Capitol riot contrast with the perspective relayed by former President Donald Trump himself, who has not consistently distanced himself from the events of that day, often seeming to simply gloss over the well documented violence. Whether Tucker Carlson, Marjorie Taylor Greene, or Matt Gaetz, others in the former president’s political corner have done the same.
When defiance has been seen from Capitol riot defendants, the consequences have sometimes been steep. Brandon Fellows, recently on trial for his involvement in the day’s events, was sentenced to five months for contempt by the presiding judge after proceedings in which he was combative and refused to directly answer questions from prosecutors. That sentence was in addition to anything he’d receive from the jury’s decisions, which weren’t finalized at the time. Meanwhile, fellow Proud Boys defendant Joseph Biggs received 17 years in prison at Thursday proceedings, marking one of the longest sentences imposed for a rioter yet.