United States

Ex-police officer found guilty in second Capitol riot jury trial

Reuters
Ex-police officer found guilty in second Capitol riot jury trial

CAPITOL RIOT. Trump supporters protest in front of the US Capitol Building in Washington, U.S. January 6, 2021.

Stephanie Keith/Reuters

A federal jury in the District of Columbia finds Thomas Robertson of Rocky Mount, Virginia, guilty on all six charges he faces, including obstructing an official proceeding of the US Congress

WASHINGTON, DC, USA – An off-duty police officer who breached the US Capitol during the January 6, 2021, attack was found guilty of multiple felonies on Monday, April 11, a notable victory for prosecutors in one of the first trials relating to the attack.

According to court documents, a federal jury in the District of Columbia found Thomas Robertson of Rocky Mount, Virginia, guilty on all six charges he faces, including obstructing an official proceeding of the US Congress.

A judge will impose a sentence on Robertson at a later court hearing.

Robertson was a sergeant in Rocky Mount’s police department at the time of the Capitol riot.

Robertson entered the Capitol along with another former police officer, Jacob Fracker, who pleaded guilty to similar charges last month.

Fracker testified on behalf of the prosecution in its case against Robertson after reaching a plea deal with the government last month.

About 800 people have been charged with crimes relating to the January 6 attack. Robertson was only the second defendant to gamble on a jury trial.

Last year, a judge ordered Robertson to be detained in jail pending trial, after prosecutors alleged Robertson was still buying firearms and ammunition online after his arrest.

The first January 6 jury trial also ended up a victory for prosecutors. Last month, a different jury in the District of Columbia found Guy Reffitt of Texas guilty of all five of the felony charges he faced, including bringing a gun onto the Capitol grounds and obstructing an official proceeding.

Last week, a federal judge issued the first acquittal in a criminal trial stemming from the Jan. 6 attack.

Following a non-jury trial, U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden said prosecutors failed to prove their case against a New Mexico man facing misdemeanor trespassing charges.

McFadden accepted arguments by the defendant, Matthew Martin, that he did not know he was breaking the law when he entered the Capitol complex.

Thousands of Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol, battling police and sending lawmakers running for their lives after Trump in a fiery speech near the White House repeated his false claims that his election defeat was the result of widespread fraud.

Multiple courts, state election officials and members of Trump’s own administration have rejected that claim as untrue. – Rappler.com