US court sentences ex-policeman to more than 7 years in jail for role in January 6 attack

Thomas Robertson's sentencing matches the longest to be handed down to a Capitol rioter

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A former policeman charged by prosecutors with lying about his actions relating to the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison.

A jury in April convicted Thomas Robertson of six criminal charges, including obstruction of justice and obstruction of an official proceeding.

The bicycle that belonged to Capitol policeman Brian Sicknick, who died a day after battling to disperse the January 6 rioters, is displayed as part of a memorial to him, at the Capitol, in Washington. Reuters

Robertson and Guy Reffitt, who was convicted in March, are now tied for the longest sentence for someone involved in the Capitol riots, at 87 months.

Robertson “used his law enforcement training to block Metropolitan Police Officers attempting to hold back the mob", federal prosecutor Elizabeth Aloi wrote in the government's sentencing memo.

The former policeman's lawyer had asked for a sentence not longer than 15 months.

His trial featured testimony from Jackob Fracker, who reported to Robertson in the Rocky Mount, Virginia, police department. The pair took selfies when they entered the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Prosecutors said Robertson formatted the mobile phones they had used on that day.

The town fired Robertson and Fracker after the riot.

Fracker pleaded guilty to a felony charge of conspiracy in March and is scheduled to be sentenced on August 16.

About 850 people have been charged with federal crimes in relations to their actions to January 6. More than 350 of them have pleaded guilty, and more than 230 have been sentenced so far.

The attack on the Capitol killed at least five people and injured scores of officers as supporters of Donald Trump sought to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

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Reuters contributed to this report

Updated: August 12, 2022, 3:35 PM