Jessica Watkins, an army veteran who participated in the attack on the Washington Capitol in a military formation with other members of the extremist group Oath Keepers, was sentenced this Friday to 8.5 years in prison.
Watkins, originally from Woodstock, Ohio, and who is transgender, was convicted of seditious conspiracy in Rhode but acquitted, but the jury found. guilty of obstruction and conspiracy to prevent the victory of the presidential election in the Congress of the certification of Joe Biden.
This file photo taken at the Montgomery County Jail shows Jessica Watkins, who was taken on Monday, June 18, 2021.
Credit: Montgomery County Jail via AP.
Three other group members received their sentences this week in one of the most serious cases brought by the Justice Department. punishment * Rhodes is still the longest in hundreds of trials relating to the insurrection.
Watkins was more than a soldier
Judge Amit Mehta said that while Watkins was not a perpetrator like Rhodes, he was more than “just a soldier”, as the three other defendants would not have been there unless he recruited them.
“His role that day was more aggressive, attacking and perhaps more active than the others,” he told her.
Watkins, through tears; excused before the judge’s sentence. He condemned the violence of the riot police, but said he knew their presence in the Capitol “probably inspired people to some extent.” He said she was “the only idiot around the Capitol” on January 6.
“And now you will find this fool guilty,” he added, addressing the judge about himself.
Another Oath Keeper, also an Army veteran, Kenneth Harrelson, will receive his verdict in a few hours. Kelly Meggs, the leader of the group in Florida, was sentenced to 12 years earlier.
Founded by Rhodes in 2009, the Oath Keepers group has grown to be one of the largest right-wing anti-government militias.
Arresting active or retired military and police officers, the group promotes the idea that the federal government seeks to rob citizens of their civil liberties and presents itself as a defender against tyranny.