A federal jury on Monday convicted a former Virginia police officer of storming the U.S. Capitol with another off-duty officer to prevent Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.
The jury convicted former police officer Thomas Robertson on all six charges he faced stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, riots, including charges that he interfered with police officers at the Capitol and entered a restricted area with a weapon. dangerous, a club.
His sentencing hearing was not scheduled immediately.
Robertson’s jury trial was the second of hundreds of Capitol riot cases. The first ended last month when jurors convicted a Texas man, Guy Refitt, of all five counts of his indictment.
Robertson did not testify at his trial, which began last Tuesday. Jurors deliberated for several hours over two days before reaching their unanimous verdict.
A member of the jury, who spoke with The Associated Press Only on condition of anonymity, he said as he left the courthouse: “I think the government made a really compelling case, and the evidence was pretty overwhelming.”
A key witness for prosecutors in his case was Jacob Fracker, who also served on the Rocky Mount, Virginia, police force and saw Robertson as a mentor and father figure. Fracker was scheduled to stand trial along with Robertson before he pleaded guilty last month to a conspiracy charge and agreed to cooperate with authorities. Fracker testified Thursday that he hoped the mob that attacked the Capitol could overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Robertson was charged with six counts: obstruction of Congress, interfering with officials during a civil disorder, entering a restricted area while carrying a dangerous weapon, disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted area while carrying a dangerous weapon, disorderly or disruptive conduct inside the Capitol building and obstruction. The latest charge stems from the alleged post-riot destruction of cell phones belonging to him and Fracker.
During closing arguments in the trial Friday, Assistant US Attorney Risa Berkower said Robertson went to Washington and joined a “violent vigilante mob” because she believed they had stolen the election from then-President Donald Trump. He used the club to interfere with outnumbered police before joining the crowd arriving at the Capitol, she said.
“The defendant did all of this because he wanted to nullify the election,” Berkower said.
[Con información de The Associated Press]
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