He’ll Be Gone For A While
A Kentucky man was sentenced to 14 years in prison on Friday for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the U.S. Capitol, The Associated Press reported. This marks the longest prison sentence yet among the hundreds of criminal cases related to the insurrection.
Peter Schwartz, 49, was officially sentenced to 14 years and two months behind bars, followed by three years of supervised release. Prosecutors had originally sought a sentence of 24 years and six months for Schwartz after he was found guilty last December of assault and other felony charges.
During the sentencing, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta told Schwartz he was a “soldier against democracy” that participated in “the kind of mayhem [and] chaos that had never been seen in the country’s history,” AP reported.
According to prosecutorial court filings, Schwartz arrived at the Capitol building on Jan. 6. armed with a wooden tire knocker. He then joined a group of rioters at the Capitol’s lower terrace, where he participated in an effort to push back a line of police officers and also threw a chair at law enforcement.
Prosecutors wrote that “by throwing that chair, Schwartz directly contributed to the fall of the police line that enabled rioters to flood forward and take over the entire terrace.”
Schwartz was additionally armed with a can of police-issued pepper spray, prosecutors said, spraying it at retreating officers who fled into an underground tunnel. Schwartz followed the officers into the tunnel and further threatened them with an unidentified orange spray.
While Schwartz apologized in court, Mehta replied that he didn’t believe him. “You took it upon yourself to try and injure multiple police officers that day,” he said.
Schwartz’s sentencing came just one day after four members of the right-wing Proud Boys were found guilty of seditious conspiracy in relation to their leading the insurrection.