Man who pepper sprayed officer in January gets nearly 7 years in prison

A New Jersey man who pleaded guilty to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol was sentenced Friday to nearly seven years in prison as a swarm of uniformed police officers watched on.

The 80-month prison sentence for the man, Julian Khater, ended a harrowing case involving Officer Sinick, who died a day after being pepper sprayed during scuffles outside the Capitol.

At the same hearing, a second man charged in the attack, George Tanios, was sentenced to serve five months while his case was in court. In July, Mr. Tanios pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges after the government agreed to drop the assault charges against him.

While early reports suggested Officer Sinick died from his injuries, a later autopsy revealed he died of natural causes after multiple strokes not directly related to the violent pro-Trump riots. Still, prosecutors noted in court documents that a Washington medical examiner determined that Officer Sinick had contact with the mob on Jan. 17. 6 And “everything that happened had an effect on his condition.”

At the sentencing hearing in federal district court in Washington, about 50 of Sinick’s colleagues from the U.S. Capitol Police Service were present — so many that dozens of them were asked to be transferred to a triage room. The hearing also included emotional testimony from several members of Officer Sicknick’s family.

Officer Sicknick’s mother, Gladys Sicknick, told Mr. Khater said he chased her son “like he was an animal”, adding that whatever punishment he received “wouldn’t be enough in my opinion”.

Mrs. Sicknick also said some hurtful things about the larger mob that besieged the Capitol.

“All of you are responsible for the injuries suffered by Brian’s colleagues – broken bones, head trauma and the ongoing mental pain they suffered and will endure for the rest of their lives,” she said. “Imagine causing someone to take their own life Emotional pain. Four officers committed suicide. You and your ‘campaign’ caused their deaths.”

Police officer Caroline Edwards, who was injured in the same attack and testified about her experience to congressional investigators, also appeared in court to address Judge Thomas F. Hogan, who is presiding over the case.

“Sometimes when I close my eyes, I can still see his face, white as a sheet,” Officer Edwards said of Officer West Nick, adding, “I would give anything to relieve West Nick. The pain of Nick’s family and my colleagues.”

gentlemen. Khater’s sentence is one of the longest of the 950 people indicted to date in connection with the Capitol attack. The harshest sentences, ranging from seven and a half to 10 years, have been handed down to defendants accused of beating police officers.

At a critical moment in the unrest, Officer Siknik was attacked with chemical spray — right next to the bike rack barricade on the west side of the Capitol, the mob was charging at the officers.

In court documents filed ahead of the hearing, Mr. Carter said he has no intention of entering the Capitol on Jan. 1. 6 only went to Washington that day because Mr. Tanios invited him to a rally of President Donald J. Trump. gentlemen. Tanios, of West Virginia, later admitted buying two cans of bear spray and two cans of the less potent pepper spray before heading to Washington, but said they were for self-protection.

In his dissertation, Mr. Khater admitted he used pepper spray on at least three officers, including Officer Sicknick, but explained he simply gave in to “his anxiety” in an “atmosphere of danger and confusion”.

In his address to Judge Hogan, Mr Khater noted he had spent 684 days in custody – a “long, painful but humbling experience”, in his words.

“What happened on Jan. 6 – there’s nothing to describe it,” he said. “It’s unfortunate and I hope I can get it all back.”

Just before he handed over Mr. Sentencing Khater, Justice Hogan said he did not understand why he joined the mob and attacked police officers who posed no threat to him.

“I can’t count the type of activity that people think they can do because they don’t agree with the outcome of the election,” he said.

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