Capitol riot defendant from Parrish sentenced to jail
WASHINTON, D.C. (WWSB) - A Parrish man seen around the world carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern in the Capitol Rotunda during the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection, was sentenced to 75 days in jail and a year of probation Friday.
U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton also imposed a $5,000 fine and ordered Adam Johnson to pay $500 to the Architect of the Capitol to help pay for damage done during the Jan. 6 riot. He must also perform 200 hours of community service.
In addressing the court during the hearing, Johnson was apologetic. “I’m ashamed to have been a part of it,” he told Walton. “I’m pleading guilty because I am guilty.”
It was “a very stupid idea,” Johnson said.
In a plea deal, Johnson pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds.
Prosecutor Jessica Arco argued Johnson was a willing participant in a serious assault on democracy. “Mr. Johnson was part of a mob and he knew it,” she said.
Even a misdemeanor, in the context of the events that day, “demands a serious sentence,” Arco said.
His defense attorney, David R. Bigney, asked the court for a lighter sentence, arguing Johnson had been completely cooperative with investigators and freely admitted his guilt. “Mr. Johnson has been 100% truthful,” he said.
Bigney characterized Johnson’s participation in the events of Jan. 6 as minor. “He’s not a Proud Boy, he’s not a racist,” he said. “He wasn’t armed ... he wasn’t wearing tactical gear.”
Arco disagreed. “He said was caught up in the moment ... He sought it out,” she told the court. “He should have known better.”
Arco said that while anyone has the right to political expression, “he it took it too far.”
Judge Walton told Johnson his case was not like other Jan. 6 cases he has presided over, where he has given only probation to defendants who merely entered the Capitol and left.
He cited video presented as evidence that shows Johnson jiggling the door handle of what he believed was Pelosi’s office door, and being heard in a video saying that a bust of George Washington in the Rotunda night make a good battering ram.
“That seems to me to be more than passive involvement,” Walton said.
“Sentencing is a very challenging task,” Walton said. “In some cases, there has to be punishment. Otherwise, the rule of law doesn’t mean anything.”
Walton ordered Johnson to be able to serve his time behind bars “as close to his home as possible.” It was not determined where Johnson will be incarcerated.
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