Dear Commons Community,
Federal judge, Timothy Kelly, sentenced two high-ranking Proud Boys to prison yesterday over the far-right street gang’s role in the planning and execution of the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Dominic Pezzola, who breached the Capitol by smashing a window with a stolen police riot shield, was sentenced to 10 years behind bars in a D.C. District Court, four months after he was found guilty on obstruction and other charges related to the attack. Ethan Nordean, the gang’s most notorious bruiser was sentenced to 18 years in a second hearing Friday afternoon.
These follow the sentencing on Thursday of Joseph Biggs, former organizer of the Proud Boys to 17 years in prison for his role in spearheading the attack on the US Capitol, and Zach Rehl, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Proud Boys, to 15 years.
Pezzola was found not guilty on the most serious charge of the trial, seditious conspiracy, unlike Nordean and the other Proud Boy co-defendants this past May. But he played a key role in the riot as the first person to smash through a Capitol window using a stolen police shield, and prosecutors argued he should spend 20 years behind bars.
Pezzola, who wore an orange prison-issued jumpsuit and sported a long beard, spoke before his sentencing and apologized for his actions the day of the Capitol attack.
“I messed up and I let the people who care and depend on me the most down,” Pezzola said, according to reporters in the courtroom.
Pezzola described his time in jail as an “emotional black hole,” and apologized to his eldest daughter, who was not in the courtroom.
“I pray for the court’s mercy to be there for you in the future,” he said before receiving his 10-year sentence.
He added that there was “no place in my future for groups or politics whatsoever.”
U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly offered little sympathy for Pezzola.
“The reality is you … smashed that window and let people stream into that Capitol building and threaten the lives of our lawmakers,” Kelly said. “It’s not something I ever would have dreamed I would see in our country.”
Judge Kelly has it right!