A judge showed little interest in the love life of an accused Capitol rioter who begged to travel to Jamaica to see his girlfriend, shooting down the request on the one-year anniversary of the deadly insurrection.
Anthony Williams, of Michigan, who is currently on pretrial release, faces multiple charges for his alleged role in the riot, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and tampering with a witness, victim or informant.
On Thursday, he submitted a request through his lawyer to travel to Jamaica from January 31 to February 10 to visit his girlfriend of one year.
His bold bid a year to the day of his alleged crime was quickly denied by Judge Beryl A. Howell – just hours after it was submitted.
Accused rioter Anthony Williams (pictured) submitted a request to through his lawyer to travel to Jamaica from January 31 to February 10 to visit his girlfriend of one year
Williams (pictured) faces multiple charges, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and tampering with a witness, victim or informant
‘This Court will not commemorate the one-year anniversary of this attack on the Capitol by granting defendant’s request for non-essential foreign travel when he is awaiting judgment for his actions on that day,’ Howell wrote.
Howell acknowledge Williams’ ‘wishes to leave the Michigan winter to spend ten days in the warmer climes of Jamaica’ would be a big step in his year-long relationship, but said that he ‘surrendered his entitlement to unfettered international travel when, also ‘more than a year’ ago, on December 30, 2020, he allegedly announced his intent to ‘Storm the Swamp.’
In his response to the request Howell also cited evidence from the FBI that says Williams allegedly said he ‘took (that) f***ing building,’ on January 6 — which he allegedly viewed as the ‘proudest day of (his) life.’
Last January 6, Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building, leading to multiple deaths.
Four people died on the day of the violence – protester Ashli Babbitt was shot dead by police, while three others died from other causes.
Last January 6 Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building, leading to multiple deaths
In less than a year, more than 725 Donald Trump supporters have been arrested and charged for their role in the deadly riot
A Capitol Police officer who had been attacked by protesters died the following day and two police officers who took part in the defense of the Capitol later took their own lives. More than 100 police officers were injured.
Just before the attack, Trump delivered fiery remarks and then encouraged his supporters to march to Capitol Hill.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing although he spent the weeks after the November election claiming he won and was the victim of voter fraud, despite showing no evidence to prove his claims.
He was impeached a second time on charges he incited the insurrection at the Capitol. He was acquitted by the Senate.
Since the riot, more than 725 Trump supporters have been arrested and charged.
That list has grown almost by the day, and it could ultimately double. Federal investigators originally estimated that 800 people took part in the siege of the Capitol, but now say the number is closer to 2,000.
The accused are predominantly men – 87 percent – and most of them white, with an average age of 39.
They come from across the United States, with varied socioeconomic profiles including lawyers, landscapers, real estate agents; and those with military backgrounds or who have faced bankruptcy are significantly overrepresented.
The varied group includes far-right extremists and the conspiracy-minded, but also ordinary supporters of Trump convinced by his insistent claims that the election was stolen.
Most of the accused are not charged with any violence or vandalism but merely with having illegally entered the building; they generally face only misdemeanor charges of trespassing or disorderly conduct on restricted grounds.
Prosecutors appear eager to process members of the group as quickly as possible, often through plea bargain agreements that avoid the need for trial: 165 of the accused have already reached such agreements, and some 50 have been sentenced.
Most of those sentences have been relatively light: one young man, who admitted having stolen a beer from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was sentenced to 20 days in prison, to be served on weekends – allowing him to keep his job.
The longer sentences are just beginning to be handed down, against those accused of the most serious crimes. Approximately 225 individuals are accused of acts of violence, notably against Capitol police.
The heaviest sentence so far has gone to Robert Palmer, a 54-year-old Florida man accused of attacking police with boards and a fire extinguisher.
He received a five-year sentence.
Some 40 people are being charged with criminal conspiracy, which implies a pre-organized attack.
This serious charge has been levied primarily against members of far-right groups like the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters.
These defendants, some of whom have been held in preventive detention for months, are expected to face jury trials beginning as soon as February.
One member of the Proud Boys, a New York man in his 30s, has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for a lighter sentence.
So far, no one is being accused of sedition or insurrection – serious charges mentioned early in the investigation but which are difficult to prove
LONGEST CAPITOL RIOT SENTENCES:
- Jacob Chansley: Chansley, 34, from Arizona, known as the ‘QAnon Shaman,’ was sentenced on November 17 to 41 months in prison for storming the US Capitol while armed with a spear.
- Scott Fairlamb: the 44-year-old former MMA fighter from New Jersey was sentenced to 41 months in prison for assaulting a police officer during the January 6 riots.
- Troy Smocks: the 58-year-old Dallas resident was sentenced to 14 months in prison for posting threats against the US Congress on Parler, even though he did not enter the Capitol.
- Paul Hodgkins: the 38-year-old Florida crane operator was sentenced to 8 months in prison for walking onto the US Senate floor while carrying a red ‘Trump 2020’ flag.