A New Jersey man has been sentenced to the longest jail sentence yet handed down to anyone who breached the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Scott Fairlamb, 44, of New Jersey, was sentenced to 41 months in prison for assaulting a police officer while participating in the incursion, according to WRC-TV in Washington.
The previous longest sentence handed down to anyone who breached the Capitol was eight months. A 14-month sentence was handed down for a man who made threats that day but never entered the Capitol.
Fairlamb picked up a police baton and called for those with him to storm the Capitol. He later scuffled with police officers, first pushing an officer and then punching him. The officer later said he was not injured.
“I was raised by the best,” Fairlamb said of his family during the sentencing hearing, according to CBS News, adding, “Have mercy on me, sir.”
He pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers.
In court Wednesday, he expressed remorse for what he called his “completely irresponsible, reckless behavior.”
“I take full responsibility for what I did,” Fairlamb said, according to The Washington Post. “That is not Scott Fairlamb. That’s not who I am. That’s not who I was raised to be. I truly regret my actions that day. I have nothing but remorse.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie Goemaat said Fairlamb contributed to “the chaos and the fear” of the incursion.
“It is just critical,” Goemaat said, “that the court’s sentence convey to future rioters that there will be very, very serious consequences for those who intend to obstruct the rule of law and obstruct democracy, particularly through assaults on law enforcement.”
Judge Royce Lamberth determined that the minimum sentence under the sentencing guidelines, which is 41 months, was appropriate. The prosecution called for a 44-month sentence. The maximum sentence under the guidelines, which were not binding on Lamberth, was 51 months.
“Had you gone to trial,” Lamberth said, “I don’t think there’s any jury that could have acquitted you or would have acquitted you. You certainly made the right decision, you and your attorney, to plead guilty.”
“It’s such a serious offense under the circumstances, an affront to society and to the law, to have the Capitol overrun and to have this riot stop the whole functioning government, that I just find that it’s such a serious crime that I cannot give a below-guideline sentence,” the judge said.
A New Jersey gym owner Scott Fairlamb, 44, with two prior assault convictions, who punched a D.C. police officer was sentenced Wednesday to 41 months in prison by a federal judge who called his actions “an affront to society and to the law”.https://t.co/R1AHTB56Nw
— Denali_2 (@Denali_2) November 11, 2021
Lamberth turned aside calls from the prosecution to add a fine to the prison time Fairlamb must serve.
Fairlamb’s defense attorney had argued that Fairlamb should be sentenced only to the time served since his January arrest.
“Had this not occurred on federal property, my client would be facing a trespassing and simple assault [case] in any municipal court in this country,” defense attorney Harley Breite said, according to WRC.
“Most importantly, my client has expressed sincere remorse for his actions of that day. And those actions are not indicative of who he really is,” Breite said.
Fairlamb, a former mixed martial arts fighter, owned a gym that has closed since his arrest.
“Law enforcement officers were overwhelmed, outnumbered, and in some cases, in serious danger,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing. “The rule of law was not only disrespected; it was under attack that day.”
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