Missouri Man Sentenced To Prison For Capitol Riot Alleges That Donald Trump And Josh Hawley Encouraged His Actions

Christopher Brian Roe, 39, has been sentenced to serve two years of supervised release and pay $2,000 in restitution for the damage caused to the Capitol. Prosecutors have estimated that the total damage amounts to over $2.9 million.

Roe, who brandished a pitchfork on the Capitol grounds on January 6, 2021, admitted his guilt on November 2 and pleaded guilty to three felony charges of assaulting a federal officer. The sentencing hearing for his case took place in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, presided over by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.

According to the document, his offenses were deemed to be of the utmost seriousness.

Roe could have potentially received a maximum sentence of eight years in prison, along with three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and restitution. However, the judge ultimately decided to impose a slightly lesser sentence of 71 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and a restitution of $2,000, deviating from the government’s recommendation by just one month.

Roe requested a prison sentence of one year and one day.

Roe’s sentencing document extensively attributed the responsibility for his actions to Trump and other individuals.

According to Mr. Roe’s filing, he, like many other Americans, holds the belief that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. This belief was the driving force behind his actions on January 6, 2021. He formed these beliefs based on statements made by Trump himself, as well as various television news outlets, internet sources, social media, and elected government officials.

The court has not only the authority but also the responsibility to consider the mitigating nature of these beliefs when sentencing Mr. Roe.

According to the document, Trump’s August 1, 2023, indictment accuses him of conspiring with others to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. The document refers to the January 6 cases as unique and unparalleled in American history.

According to the statement, no President has ever tried to cling to power after losing an election. Additionally, no President has ever impeded the peaceful transfer of power. Furthermore, no President has ever disseminated widespread and destabilizing falsehoods about election fraud to generate a climate of distrust and anger, and undermine public confidence in the electoral process.

The report highlights that Trump’s false claims were supported by various elected officials, including Senator Josh Hawley from Missouri. It is worth noting that Senator Hawley infamously raised a clenched fist in faux solidarity with those gathered outside the Capitol before it was breached.

Roe further contended that his offenses were less severe than assaults since he had never caused harm to an officer and had no intention of doing so.

According to the sentencing document, Mr. Roe’s primary motivation was to safeguard the integrity of the 2020 presidential election and uphold the Constitution. The document acknowledges that Mr. Roe’s decision to heed Trump’s explicit instruction to march on the Capitol on January 6 can be perceived as a misguided act of civil disobedience.

Roe becomes the 22nd Missouri resident to face sentencing in relation to the Capitol riot. Currently, six others have already been convicted and are awaiting sentencing, while the cases of eight more Missouri defendants are still pending.

Roe, one of the 36 Capitol riot defendants from Missouri, was arrested on July 18 for some of the most severe charges to date. The criminal complaint included a 27-page probable cause affidavit, which contained 48 photos documenting Roe’s actions. According to the affidavit, Roe was seen breaching the Capitol, engaging in multiple altercations with law enforcement, and attempting to break open a door using a metal bicycle rack.

He initially had to face a total of 14 charges. These charges include assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, engaging in civil disorder, engaging in disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, and destruction of government property.

After the rally, according to the government’s filing, Roe proceeded to the west front of the Capitol building. There, he confronted a line of officers, pitchfork in hand, as he attempted to remove a bicycle rack. The rack was serving as a protective barrier for the outnumbered police officers against the rioters. Despite his forceful efforts, Roe was unsuccessful in removing the rack. The document further states that during the altercation, Roe attacked one of the officers with one hand while brandishing the pitchfork with the other.

According to the document, Roe dropped the pitchfork and retreated into the crowd after officers sprayed chemical irritant at him. He then changed his clothes and made his way back to the Capitol, breaching the building through the Upper West Terrace door at around 2:38 p.m.

After entering the building, Roe proceeded to the rotunda where he took a moment to capture a photo with a fellow rioter in front of President Thomas Jefferson’s statue. He then made his way to Statuary Hall and headed towards the House of Representatives chamber.

According to the government, Roe didn’t stop at that point. Instead, he proceeded to the North Door, where a small group of officers were trying to stop the rioters from entering.

The government’s filing revealed that in an attempt to disrupt their efforts, Roe took a bicycle rack and repeatedly slammed it against the double doors. This aggressive action resulted in approximately $1,000 worth of damage to the doors. It was only after this third attempt to breach the Capitol that Roe finally left the premises. During this incident, officers resorted to deploying a fire extinguisher to deter Roe and the other rioters.

According to the government, Roe has an extensive criminal record in the justice system.

He has a track record of criminal offenses, including a six-month jail sentence in 2003 for destroying property and a 15-month sentence in 2006 for intentionally setting his mother’s car on fire to claim insurance money. Additionally, he has been convicted of multiple DUIs and was recently arrested in 2021 for trespassing at a post office after refusing to adhere to a mask mandate.

According to the government, Roe has consistently disregarded the judicial system’s efforts to reform his behavior, making him a repeat offender.

During the arrest of Roe, the government’s document stated that the FBI conducted a search warrant of his Raytown residence. During the search, they discovered one of the American flag gaiters that Roe had worn during the riot, prominently displayed on a metal rooster.

According to the document, the FBI agents found a complete LEGO model of the United States Capitol in one of his closets. Additionally, they discovered several unsecured firearms, loaded clips and magazines, as well as boxes of ammunition throughout Roe’s home. It is worth noting that possessing firearms is prohibited for him under federal law due to his previous felony conviction.

According to the report, one of the firearms in question was an AR-15-style rifle.

Roe contended in his filing that he had the legal right to possess the firearm, asserting that the state of Kansas, where he was convicted, automatically reinstates a felon’s firearm rights five years after the conviction or release from imprisonment for that specific offense.

According to Roe, the pitchfork he had was not considered a dangerous weapon. However, the judge sided with the government’s stance, stating that it was indeed a dangerous weapon.

Roe contended that despite the pitchfork being a dangerous weapon, he did not wield it by grasping it during the attack.

Once again, the government and the judge found themselves at odds.

According to the government, Roe’s actions during the assault indicate that he deliberately brandished the pitchfork to intimidate the officers positioned behind the barricade. As Roe approached the barricade, he held the pitchfork high in the air, with the tips pointed upwards. This display of the dangerous weapon was seen as a threat of force, effectively conveying to the police officers that he was armed.

Once his sentence was served, the supervisor assured Roe that he would be warmly welcomed and given the opportunity to work at any store under his management.

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MBS Staff
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