Texas man who tried to break into Speaker’s Hall on Jan. 6 gets 7 years in prison

A Texas man who joined other mobs at the U.S. Capitol trying to break into Speaker’s Hall, where a woman was part of the mob, on Jan. 6, 2021, was shot dead by police was sentenced Tuesday to nearly seven years in prison years in prison, the Justice Department said.

Christopher R. Grider, 41, of Eddie, Texas, also tried to shut off power to the Capitol by pressing a button on an electrical box and yelling, “Turn off Power!” according to prosecutors.

Mr. Grid, who runs a vineyard in central Texas, pleaded guilty last year to entering a restricted area and illegally marching on the Capitol, his attorney said. He stood trial on seven other charges, including civil disturbance and violent break-in and disorderly conduct at the Capitol, and Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., convicted him of all counts.

On Tuesday, Judge Kollar-Kotelly sentenced Mr. Grider to six years and 11 months in prison and ordered him to pay $5,055 in restitution and an $812 fine.

In March, Judge Kollar-Kotelly told the court that video of the incident clearly showed “how Mr. Grider has placed himself at the center of this conflict, away from some of the most violent, lawless and reprehensible events taking place in the Capitol. behavior on that day.”

She then asked: “To what extent can one approach the unquestionably violent and utterly unacceptable behavior of a lynching mob by others and still claim to be a non-dangerous, genuinely innocent bystander?”

Mr. Grid’s attorney, Brent Mayr, said in an interview Tuesday that his client “deeply regrets his actions on Jan. 6 and sends his condolences to his family, his community , and above all, an apology to his country.”

But he added that they were “deeply disappointed that he received a much longer sentence than others who were far worse than him.”

“He did not assault any police officers before, during or after that day, let alone threaten anyone with any violence,” Mr Meyer said. “We’re very, very disappointed by the discrepancy in that statement.”

Last month, a man was Sentenced to three years in prison Beating up police officers during the attack on the Capitol. In September 2022, a retired New York City police officer Waving a metal flagpole at a Washington official Sentenced to 10 years in prison for the 6 January attack.

Earlier this month, a Pennsylvania welder was sentenced to a little over 14 years in prison for attacking police officers with a chair before spraying them with chemical spray at the Capitol, harshest punishment to date In relation to the events of January 6th.

More than 1,000 people from nearly all 50 states have been arrested for crimes related to the Capitol riot, according to the US Department of Justice.

Mr. Meyer said Mr. Grid thought he was simply going to a Jan. 6 rally by President Donald J. Trump at the Capitol, then having a meal before catching a plane back to Texas.

Mr. Meyer said Mr. Grid was unable to attend President Trump’s speech, but he had heard the president wanted everyone to go to the Capitol. He added that when he saw the crowd going that way, he decided to follow.

Prosecutors said Mr. Greed entered scaffolding on the Capitol’s northwest terrace “along with a mob who broke through the cordon”.

Once inside the Capitol, Mr. Greed located the electrical box and attempted to disconnect it, according to court records.

He then joined “another group of thugs who stormed through the cordon,” prosecutors said.

Court records show that Mr. Grid eventually walked to the door of the Speaker’s Hall and watched as MPs and their staff evacuated.

“He gave the helmet to another thug and pushed the door open,” prosecutors said. “The thug proceeded to use the helmet to break the window on the door.”

Mr Grider was seen backing away from the Speaker’s Hall door as others screamed “shoot”.

that moment Ashley Babbitt The 35-year-old Southern California Air Force veteran was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer as he climbed through a broken window leading to the Speaker’s Hall.

After the shooting, Mr. Greed leaned against a railing to get a better view of Ms. Babbitt, who was lying on the floor bleeding, prosecutors said.

Court documents say Mr. Greed appears to be holding a video or photo of her above the stairs with his phone.

Mr Meyer said his client was overwhelmed by the mob mentality that prevailed that day and admitted he had made “several poor decisions”.

“He was devastated by what had happened,” Mr Meyer said. “He was shocked by what happened.”

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