U.S. prosecutors to seek 51-month sentence for Capitol rioter who assaulted police
WASHINGTON, Jan 26 (Reuters) - A man who pleaded guilty to a felony charge after throwing objects at police during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol and boasting about his actions on social media is set to be sentenced by a federal judge on Wednesday.
U.S. prosecutors are seeking a prison term of four years and three months for Nicholas Languerand, which would be one of the longest sentences yet for a defendant in the attack.
Languerand’s sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge John Bates is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET (1900 GMT). Languerand has been jailed since his arrest in April in South Carolina. He was living in Vermont at time of the riot, according to authorities.
He pleaded guilty in November to a single charge of assaulting law enforcement with a dangerous weapon. Authorities said he hurled objects including an orange traffic barrier at police and took an officer’s riot shield. He was 26 at the time he entered the guilty plea.
The Justice Department is asking Bates to make an example out of Languerand, citing Instagram posts after the attack in which he said “next time we come back with rifles” and “violence isn’t always the answer but in the face of tyranny violence may be the only answer.”
Languerand’s defense lawyer proposed a sentence of “a year and a day with credit for time served in custody since April 15, 2021,” saying Languerand has demonstrated a willingness to hold down a job and follow the law, despite trauma and hardship.
The attack was carried out by a mob of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters in a failed effort to prevent Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory over Trump.
More than 725 people have been charged, with more than 160 pleading guilty to a variety of federal charges. The longest sentence imposed thus far was five years and one month in prison for a Florida man last month for assaulting police officers.
About 140 police officers were assaulted during the riot, according to the Justice Department.
By Jan Wolfe.
(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Will Dunham)