First Man To Breach The Capitol On Jan. 6 Gets Convicted Of 20-Year Felony

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A Capitol riot defendant identified by federal authorities as the first individual from the pro-Trump mobs to enter the actual Capitol building on January 6, 2021, was convicted at the close of last week of a range of felony and misdemeanor offenses.

Defendant Michael Sparks of Kentucky reportedly climbed at about 2:13 p.m. on January 6, 2021, through a Capitol window that rioters had just broken, furthering a violent confrontation with law enforcement and other authorities that would stretch for hours more, disrupting Congressional proceedings meant for certifying the election results from 2020. A jury convicted Sparks of felony offenses including obstruction of an official proceeding and civil disorder alongside a range of misdemeanors including trespassing and disorderly conduct offenses.

The obstruction offense can lead to a lengthy prison term — reaching up to 20 years — once convicted.

After entering the Capitol, Sparks joined an infamous chase of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who led a portion of the crowd that was trailing him away from a location inside the building where Senators were still gathered. Sparks personally confronted Goodman, as recounted by a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office for Washington, D.C. “Officers ordered the group to leave, but Sparks did not retreat. Instead, he walked to the front of the group and confronted the first officer they had chased up the stairs,” authorities stated.

The same federal release also credits Sparks with the kind of knowledge of Congress’ scheduled certification proceedings that via creating an appearance of informed intent has figured into convictions on the obstruction charge so far. The turnaround time in his case was extensive, with Sparks’ initial arrest all the way back in January 2021 — the very month that these original circumstances unfolded.

When sentenced in the near future, precedent suggests that Sparks may get a sentence lengthy but not the longest, considering his specific offenses do not include assaulting, resisting, or impeding police, and prosecutors have trained a lot of their attention on those rioters’ acts.