After facing criminal allegations following his involvement in the march and assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, Owen Shroyer — described by journalist Kyle Cheney as a “sidekick” to far-right commentator Alex Jones — should face several months in prison, prosecutors say. They asked for 120 days total.
Shroyer wasn’t accused of entering the Capitol building itself or committing physical violence against police officers, and he wasn’t accused of a conspiracy charge like those doled out against members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, but prosecutors highlighted his rhetoric in arguing for a stint in jail following his guilty plea admitting to a trespassing offense.
“Shroyer did not step foot inside the Capitol, he did not need to; many of those who listened to him did instead,” prosecutors contended. On the day of the riot, prosecutors also highlight that Shroyer delivered arguably strikingly violent rhetoric. He compared Democrats to tyrants and then proclaimed: “Death to tyrants!”
The implications are obvious, especially in the context of the full scope of what ended up happening that day. No matter any original intentions on Shroyer’s part, his rhetoric connects to — and prosecutors argue helped fuel — those who did express physically violent and potentially deadly ambitions. The sentences lately imposed in criminal cases from January 6 have been steep, with Enrique Tarrio of Proud Boys infamy sentenced by a federal judge this week to 22 years in prison. Tarrio, charged with offenses including seditious conspiracy, received the longest sentence so far imposed on anyone connected to January 6. Oath Keepers founder and leader Stewart Rhodes is now in second, having received 18 years of prison.
Jones, meanwhile, remains embroiled in bankruptcy proceedings after massive financial awards in civil cases brought by individuals connected to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, about which Jones helped spread anti-reality conspiracy theories suggesting a staged, “false flag” incident. Individuals connected to the very real atrocity have detailed threats and other targeting they’ve faced in tandem with the popularity of these completely false ideas.