(WASHINGTON) — An Air Force veteran who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for joining the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was sentenced Wednesday to 45 days in jail — marking the first misdemeanor plea to lead to jail time for a Jan. 6 rioter who was not held prior to sentencing.
Derek Jancart, who was among members of the pro-Trump mob that entered the Capitol and made it as far as Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s conference room, had pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. He was not accused of participating in any violence during the riot.
The Justice Department had asked that he be sentenced to four months in jail, more than they have requested for other lower-level misdemeanor defendants. Prosecutors noted Jancart’s former service in the military, saying he “swore an oath to defend the country, and instead participated on an attack against democracy itself.”
Jancart and his attorney countered by asking Judge James Boasberg to instead sentence him to probation.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Jancart apologized to the court for his actions at the Capitol, saying he “didn’t go there to hurt anybody.”
“I did get caught up in the moment … I wish in hindsight I had stayed back,” Jancart told the court.” I love this country and I feel ashamed of my actions.”
The George Washington University Project on Extremism says that 71 of the more than 600 people charged so far in connection with the Capitol attack have claimed to have military experience. Jancart is the first Jan. 6 defendant with military service to be sentenced for joining in the insurrection.
A co-defendant of Jancart’s, Erik Rau, was also sentenced Wednesday to 45 days in jail.
Rau cried as he addressed the court, saying that his involvement in the Jan. 6 attack had taken a toll on his family.
“I am first of all very sorry that you are having to spend your morning having to deal with me,” Rau said. He told the court that “there is no excuse” for his actions during the insurrection.
To date, more than 80 rioters have pleaded guilty to the charges against them, based on a tally by ABC News. Of the seven other defendants sentenced after pleading guilty to misdemeanor offenses, none have been ordered to spend time in jail, with the exception of two sentenced to time served after they received pretrial detention.
In recent hearings, several judges have expressed concern that the Justice Department is not seeking harsh enough punishments for some of those charged in connection with the attack.
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