Much like yesterday’s sentencing hearings for fellow Proud Boys, Joe Biggs and Zachary Rehl, this morning’s proceeding was filled with regret and emotion as personal consequences and familial fallout from the riot on January 6th were solidified by the D.C. Court.
After a relatively brief round of opening arguments, Judge Timothy Kelly set the applicable sentencing guidelines range at 17.5 to 21 years. U.S. Attorneys requested 20 years in prison while Pezzola’s attorneys made his argument for 5.
Notably, Judge Kelly refused to consider a late filing from the defense which highlighted disparities between Jan. 6 rioters and other political rioters. He scolded Defense Attorney Roger Roots, saying the filing showed a lack of respect for the process.
Despite the fact Pezzola was acquitted of seditious conspiracy charges, US Attorney Kennerson once again attempted to inject the government’s absurd narrative into proceedings by reiterating a bullshit BlueAnon conspiracy theory about how a conspiracy can happen spontaneously.
Even though Judge Kelly let the preposterous idea slide through at trial like a wet turd on a soapy tile floor, today saw a miraculous return to logic for the DC Court. Kelly referenced a lack of conviction and rejected the prosecution’s assertions about Pezzola’s role.
Kelly did, however, apply the terrorism enhancement to counts 6/7 — saying that it was reasonably foreseeable for “Pezzola to see that tearing down the fence was conduct undertaken to coerce or intimidate the government” — once again telling defense attorneys who disagreed to take it up with Congress.
At trial, Pezzola admitted to losing control of his emotions — admitted to taking a police shield — admitted to his part in breaking through the senate wing window on the upper west terrace. When asked if he screamed and yelled at police, Pezzola didn’t stray from the truth.
“I was angry. I was not thinking clearly. I was upset. I had seen a lot of — I had seen mothers grabbing their children and getting them out of the way to avoid flash bangs going off. I had seen elderly protestors, their heads split open, faces full of pepper spray. And I was upset. So yeah, I did scream some profanities at the police.”
AUSA Kennerson continued his arguments about the terror inflicted by Pezzola — explaining that people are ‘afraid to go to voting booths’ because Pezzola had a “victory smoke” in the Capitol Building.
Proud Boys member Ethan Nordean, of WA state, was sentenced today to 18 years in federal prison over the Jan. 6 riot. In 2018, Nordean went viral for knocking out an #Antifa member who was beating people with a baton in a brawl in downtown Portland, Ore. pic.twitter.com/KA0xh6Zjv7— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) September 1, 2023
Of course, no argument from the DoJ would be complete without a reference to Donald Trumps infamous call for Proud Boys to “Stand back and stand by.”
In response, Defense Attorney Steve Metcalf leaned into the human impact of sentencing — requesting that Pezzola be allowed the opportunity to provide for his family while he is still able-bodied — ‘to get on his knees and do floors again’ as he did before January 6th.
‘I know I asked for five, guidelines say eight, he’s already served two, I ask for what is just,’ Metcalf said.
After a short break, Pezzola took the stand and thanked Judge Kelly for allowing him to speak on his own behalf. He apologized to AUSA Kennerson for ‘the way he spoke to him at trial’.
In unflinchingly honest fashion, Pezzola choked up and explained that he ‘messed up’ — lamenting the impact of his decisions on his family — specifically his daughter.
‘Words could not express the pain and failure I feel towards you. I’ve missed so much of your life these last few years…missed your journey as a young woman in this world…I pray for the courts mercy to be there for you in the future.’
Similar to co-defendant Zachary Rehl, Pezzola said he’s done with politics.
‘It’s like I live in an emotional blackhole …There is no place in my future for groups or politics whatsoever.’
Pezzola humbly asked for leniency.
‘If this court could find it to give me a second chance, ll be grateful beyond repair…Your mercy will make or break my family.’
His wife, Lisa McGee, took the stand. Her words were as blunt as ever as she addressed the Court through tears.
‘In no way am I making excuses for Dominic’s actions that day. As I said on the stand (during trial), he’s a fucking idiot.’
Pezzola’s daughter, Angelica, followed with an even more gut-wrenching plea to Judge Kelly.
‘Your honor, look at my father — look at me. I am everything good that my father has done. I’m a college student, scientist, never got in trouble, I don’t do drugs or drink. He’s contributed to all that…Please have mercy on him judge. That’s all I ask.’
His mother, Barbara, was equally candid in her heartfelt request for the Court to have mercy on her son and to provide an opportunity to reunite with his family.
Defense Attorney Steve Metcalf acknowledged the weight on Judge Kelly as the Court prepared to render Justice.
Kelly addressed Pezzola directly — explaining the numerous consequences of January 6, 2021.
‘The peaceful transfer of power is one of the most precious things we had as Americans. Notice i say had because our tradition of unbroken peaceful transfers of power – that string has been broken. We can’t just snap our fingers and get it back.’
While acknowledging Pezzola’s military service, Judge Kelly described him as ‘The Tip of the Spear that allowed people to get into the Capitol’
After once again mentioning the obvious impact on Pezzola’s family, Judge Kelly rendered his decision.
10 years in prison for Dominic Pezzola.
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