Thomas Webster, 56, is set to serve the longest-ever sentence in a Capitol riot case.
WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Thursday sentenced a former NYPD officer and US Marine Corps veteran to 10 years in prison — the longest sentence to date in a Capitol riot case.
Thomas Webster, 56, of New York, showed no reaction when US District Judge Amit P. Mehta sentenced him to 120 months in prison for assaulting a DC police officer and directly helping to break a weakly held police line on the west side of the Washington State breach US Capitol Building on January 6th.
“If you look at the before and after of this video,” Mehta said, “it was an intact police cordon. It wasn’t until you arrived that all hell broke loose.”
The verdict puts Webster, who served as a New York City police officer for 20 years, at the head of a growing list of felony defendants who have been sentenced to serving significant time behind bars in Jan. 6 cases. Both Texas Three Percenter resident Guy Reffitt and former Rocky Mount, Virginia police officer Thomas Robertson were sentenced to 87 months in prison — previously the longest sentence in a Jan. 6 case — and two other men accused of telling police for assaulting Mark Ponder and Robert Palmer, both were sentenced to 63 months in prison.
Prosecutors asked Mehta to sentence Webster to more than 17 years behind bars and said he showed no remorse or remorse for using a Marine Corps flag and then his bare hands to punch DC Police Officer Noah Rathbun attack repeatedly. Prosecutors also said Webster lied on the witness stand when he claimed in court that Rathbun – whom he described as a “rogue cop” – instigated the attack.
Mehta briefly paused in ruling outright that Webster lied, saying he had already received disability amenity for deleting photos from his phone, but noting that the sentencing letter presented by Webster’s attorney, James Monroe, said “no more.” could contradict his statement. “
“There’s no doubt what you got up and said that day was absolutely imaginative and incredible,” Mehta said.
Mehta also grappled with the potential disparity in sentencing between the sentences sought for Webster and the 63-month sentences of Ponder and Palmer, both of whom repeatedly armed police attacks (both Ponder and Palmer accepted pleadings, resulting in a reduced sentence range). ). ). The DOJ compounded the problem by requiring an unusual body armor upgrade for Webster, who wore his NYPD-issued bulletproof vest in the riot. Mehta eventually granted the improvement, but suggested mitigating the “draconian” effect by extending Webster’s sentencing policy by more than six years. Because Webster was already faced with a benchmark that stretched to the edge of the maximum allowed by the most serious charge in his case, Mehta said the improvement ultimately had little impact on his decision.
Webster was found guilty by a jury on six counts in May, five of them felonies. During the trial, prosecutors showed video of Webster “elbowing” his way through the crowd on Jan. 6 where DC and US Capitol police officers were holding a perimeter fence behind a row of bike racks. Body-cam video showed him immediately yelling at one of those officers, Rathbun, before launching what prosecutors described as a “rage-filled” attack within seconds of arriving at the police line. Video showed Webster repeatedly swinging a metal bar at Rathbun and another officer before charging through the barricade and throwing Rathbun to the ground, where he attempted to rip off his gas mask and helmet. Rathbun testified that Webster’s attack choked him and made him gasp as he felt other rioters kick him on the ground.
After the attack, Webster made his way to Lower West Terrace, where he urged viewers of another rioter’s livestream, “Send more patriots!”
In his sentencing memorandum, Webster’s attorney Monroe requested a substantial downward variance amounting to the 127 days Webster had served in prison and more than a year under house arrest, citing his 20 years of service as a Navy and NYPD officer . Despite Webster’s testimony during the trial – when he repeatedly accused Rathbun of instigating the attack and made claims that were unsupported and directly contradicted by video evidence on numerous occasions – Monroe on Thursday described his client as a “good, decent man” who had been misled by former President Donald Trump’s desire to cling to power.
Monroe said the attack was a blot on Webster’s otherwise dignified life, describing it as “46 seconds of delusion that he might have a say in who would become the next President of the United States.”
Webster himself briefly took the witness stand and said he respected the jury’s decision and wished he had never come to Washington, DC on January 6th. He also apologized to Rathbun, who was present in the courtroom.
“I want to apologize to you and your family,” Webster said. “I know how this affects your family. I’m sorry.”
Before his sentencing, Mehta said he agreed with Webster on one point.
“I wish you hadn’t come to Washington DC,” he said. “I wish you had stayed home in New York and not come to the Capitol that day. Because we would all be much better off.”
Webster’s 10-year sentence would have been longer, the judge said, if he hadn’t been recognized for his more than two decades of service as a Navy and police officer. But Mehta, who has in other cases called defendants “pawns” of those who are spreading lies about the 2020 election, said Webster also had a serious need to deter others who, like him, might resort to political violence.
“We just can’t have a country where people on the losing side of an election think they can use violence and physical force to undo it,” Mehta said.
Mehta also reprimanded Webster for testifying on the witness stand and said it was clear he had not been honest.
“The jury saw through it. I figured it out. It wasn’t that hard,” Mehta said. “I’m sorry you thought you could come up there and say something else.”
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https://www.kvue.com/article/news/crime/former-nypd-officer-sentenced-to-10-years-in-prison-for-assaulting-cop-on-jan-6-thomas-webster-noah-rathbun/65-eb8c431d-d0e5-431a-8000-b797b7d89ec2 Ex-NYPD officer Thomas Webster sentenced to 10 years in prison