Man jailed for attacking late Capitol official

WASHINGTON (AP) — A New Jersey man who took part in a mob attack on the U.S. Capitol was sentenced Friday to more than six years in prison for using pepper spray to assault a police officer, one of them. died the day after the siege.

Julian Cater, in a statement read by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan before he was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison, referred to the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Schicknick, I didn’t address it to my family.

Khater was not charged in the officer’s death. A coroner has concluded that Schicknick, 42, died of natural causes after he suffered two strokes a day after he and other officers tried to stop a mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021. attached.

Hogan said Schicknick’s death was an “elephant in the room,” but stressed that the coroner’s report gave him no basis to use it as a sentencing factor. said Khater did not apologize to the officers he attacked or express grief for hurting them.

“Somewhere along the line, we lost the sense of accepting responsibility,” Hogan said.

Khater responded that after he was recently named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit over his conduct on January 6, he had amended his prepared statement to the court on the advice of his attorney.

“I wanted to apologize to everyone,” he said.

A judge conceded that he had served approximately two years in pretrial detention. Hogan also ordered him to pay a $10,000 fine.

Khater’s friend and co-defendant, George Tanios, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly and disruptive conduct and spent nearly six months in prison before an appeals court ordered his release. Hogan sentenced Thanios, 41, of Morgantown, West Virginia, to a prison sentence he has already served on Friday.

Dozens of police officers filled the courtroom galleries and many others watched the proceedings on television in the flooded courtroom.

Thanios and Cater were not charged in Sicknick’s death, but the officers’ relatives believe they were responsible. The girlfriend spoke in court before the judge handed down her sentence.

As his brother Craig Schicknick said, “Your selfish actions have caused more pain than you can imagine. My family is wrecked and as a result of your actions that day None of us are even unscathed.”

The officer’s mother, Gladys Schicknick, told Cater that he was “at the center of a recurring nightmare.”

“You attacked my son like an animal. You are an animal, Mr. Carter,” she said.

Federal prosecutors have sentenced Khater, 34, of Somerset, New Jersey, to seven years and six months in prison.

The Washington coroner’s office determined in April 2021 that Sicknick died of natural causes after suffering two strokes near the base of his brain stem. According to prosecutors, the coroner also said Schicknick was involved with a mob on January 6 and that “everything that happened affected his condition.”

Defense attorney Chad Siegel said the coroner’s autopsy confirmed that Carter did not directly or indirectly cause the officer’s death.

“If there was evidence to the contrary, they would have prosecuted him,” Siegel said.

Prosecutors said Schicknick’s “tragic death comes very close to the traumatic events of the day and underscores the seriousness of the crimes committed by Cater and his fellow mobsters.” rice field.

“The death of the cycnic police officer is an immense trauma, stress to Kater and to all the mobsters whose actions were physically attacked on that day. , should serve as a solemn reminder of the suffering it caused in the Capitol,” they wrote in court filings.

Cater drove from New Jersey to pick up Tanios in West Virginia and on January 5, headed for the Washington area. They rode a rideshare to the Washington capital the next morning to attend a Stop Theft rally and listen to then-President Donald Trump. Trump addresses his supporters.

Joining the crowd marching from the rally toward the Capitol, Kater and Thanios approached the Lower West Terrace. Prosecutor Gilead Wright told the judge, Mr. Cutter was furious when he was exposed to police chemical spray “as if he were an innocent victim.”

Surveillance video shows Cater reaching inside Tanios’ backpack and taking out a canister of pepper spray Tanios had bought the day before. It’s not… it’s too early,” Cater reached for his backpack.

A few minutes later, Cater approached an officer guarding the barricade and sprayed at least three people, including Sicknik.

“When officers were at their most vulnerable, he jumped right into action,” Wright said.

Mr. Wright said the attack was premeditated, but Mr. Cater’s lawyer said it was not planned. Khater told his FBI that he and his Tanios brought bear spray and pepper spray to the rally to protect themselves.

Carter stopped spraying the police after the officers sprayed him. Police retreated from Lower West Terrace after Kater’s attack.

More than three hours after police cleared the mob from the Capitol, Schicknick began to slur his speech while talking to a fellow officer and collapsed. He was on life support at the hospital for approximately 24 hours until his death.

Khater pleaded guilty in September to two counts of attacking or obstructing a police officer with a dangerous weapon. Tanios pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts in July. Neither have been accused of entering the Capitol on January 6.

Prosecutors had recommended that Thanios be sentenced to five months and six days, which he has already served.

Tanios ran a sandwich restaurant near the campus of West Virginia University. It was closed during his prison service.

Khater has been incarcerated since his March 2021 arrest in Newark, New Jersey. He ran a health food restaurant that closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over 100 police officers were injured in the Houses of Parliament on January 6. He has more than 950 people indicted for federal crimes related to the Jan. 6 riots.

Approximately 500 riot defendants have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanors. More than 380 people were convicted, more than half of whom he was sentenced to 10 years in prison from his seven days.