Greg Rubenacker has been sentenced to jail in the Eugene Goodman Chase case
A New Yorker who was part of the crowd that chased a police officer up several flights of stairs donald trump Supporters stormed the US Capitol and were sentenced to 41 months in prison.
Gregory Rubenacker26, was among the small crowd that pursued the Capitol Police officer Eugene Gutman up the stairs in front of the Senate chambers on Jan. 6 as the rioting crowd of Trump supporters, angry at the results of the 2020 presidential election, overwhelmed police and forced their way into the building.
He first entered the Capitol through the Senate Wing door just before 2:15 p.m. and recorded video of him shouting, “This is history! We have taken the Capitol.”
“Where are you counting the votes,” he also yelled, joining a crowd that opposed the police. During that Capitol breach – his first of two that day – Rubenacker chased Goodman up the stairs for several breathtaking minutes, as caught on video.
Rubenacker exited the building moments later, but returned about 20 minutes later and made his way to the Rotunda, where he recorded himself smoking marijuana. He later posted this video to social media with the caption, “Smoke out the Capitol, Baby.”
As part of a crowd that resisted police efforts to get the crowd outside, Rubenacker swung a plastic bottle of water at an officer’s head and later sprayed water from his bottle at officers who got involved with other rioters. Law enforcement then used chemical spray against the crowd, including Rubenacker, who finally exited the building at around 3:20 p.m
In February, he pleaded guilty to all 10 charges against him – three felonies and seven misdemeanors. He faced up to 20 years in prison for a count of obstructing an official process, up to 8 years for a count of assault, resistance or obstruction of officials, and up to three years for a count of civil disorder.
On the misdemeanor charge, Rubenacker threatened up to a year in prison for each charge of being in a restricted building or compound and up to six months for each charge of disorderly conduct in a Capitol building or compound.
Prosecutors had asked for 46 months in prison, three years of supervised release and $2,000 in damages. Rubenacker had requested a sentence of 12 months house arrest.
Rubenacker had taken the unusual step of pleading guilty without having a settlement with prosecutors. At that time Rubenacker’s lawyer Michelangelo Matera stated that the government’s plea offer required Rubenacker to agree to government-recommended guidelines for sentencing, which parallels what Rubenacker would face if he pleaded only on charges.
At the time of Rubenacker’s plea, Matera said he would plead for a downward deviation from the directional range at sentencing. Those efforts failed before the US Chief District Judge on Thursday Beryl Howell Denies Matera’s request and orders a prison sentence within the government-recommended range of 41 to 51 months.
Howl, a Barack Obama appointment, eventually sentenced Rubenacker to the lower end of that range, adding a three-year suspended sentence to his 41-month sentence.
Judge: “It’s not a big step to appreciate the terror,” felt by the “overwhelmed” police in the Capitol on Jan. 6
Rubenacker’s case is the first Jan. 6 ruling in which Officer Goodman produced victim effects testimony. That statement was made sealed late Wednesday evening.
Matera disagreed on Thursday. He argued that the obstruction charge applied to his client’s first break into the Capitol when he joined the mob chasing Goodman up the stairs. Among these obstructionist allegations, Matera argued, the real “victim” of Rubenacker’s crimes was the US government, not Goodman.
Matera also said that Goodman’s testimony reflected very little of his own feelings, and instead included testimony to stories his law enforcement colleagues had told him about the aftermath they had personally experienced since Jan. 6.
“These other people have chosen not to make a statement about the impact on victims,” Matera said. “To have him hand in a letter from other people… How do we know that’s an accurate description[?]”
However, prosecutors said Matera’s argument had no merit.
“There’s a lot of people chasing Officer Goodman up the stairs and yelling at him,” the assistant US attorney said Troy Edwards Jr. said. “Mr. Rubenacker was one of them. That certainly falls within the definition of ‘direct and immediate harm’ of the day’s events.”
Howell agreed with the government, overruling Matera’s objection.
“It relates to feelings of anxiety, nightmares, and the need for mental health treatment,” Howell said, referring to Goodman’s sealed statement. “[The] Feelings linger, people who work there continue to suffer from what happened on January 6th. While Officer Goodman doesn’t share that he, too, feels all of these things, I agree with the government based on what I saw from the video, it doesn’t go far to appreciate the horror that overwhelmed the cops that day [felt]and in particular Officer Goodman, who was chased up the stairs by an angry mob until he found his colleagues… I think that qualifies him as a victim of that January 6th mob action.”
“In any case,” Howell added, “even if Officer Goodman doesn’t technically meet the definition of a ‘victim of a crime,’ I have complete discretion [to consider his statement]and I will do that.”
It’s unclear if Goodman will file victim testimony in other law enforcement proceedings.
“This defendant is an adult. He should have known better.”
As Rubenacker’s attorney began to lay out his reasons why Rubenacker deserved a home sentence instead of federal prison, Howell explained whether the defendant still believed the big lie — the widely debunked conspiracy theory that Joe Biden’s election victory was based on widespread voter fraud — and lamented the fact that political leaders kept repeating this.
“Does he still think the 2020 presidential election was stolen?” Howell asked Matera.
“He doesn’t,” Matera replied.
Matera also said his client’s arrest would derail his budding music career.
“Any very long or lengthy sentence would completely undo the progress he’s made,” Matera said. “The music industry is fickle… it’s not easy to embrace it later in life. It is more of a profession for young people.”
On his own behalf, Rubenacker did not hesitate to cite a few names as obvious evidence of his potential for professional success.
“I’ve worked with Grammy-nominated producers,” he said. “I worked with Craig Derryalso known as Lady Gagas and Katy Perrys voice coach. I’ve been making music for eight years and everything I’ve done in the last eight years is finally starting to bear fruit.”
Howell was unmoved.
“This defendant is an adult,” she said. “He was an adult on January 6, 2021. He should have known better.”
Howell had harsh words for what she described as Rubenacker’s feeling of “authority” to invade the Capitol that day and that he was “so delighted to be there,” saying his actions toward Goodman were particularly outrageous.
“It was hostile behavior chasing Officer Goodman up the stairs,” Howell said. “It was threatening behavior. It was frightening behavior for Officer Goodman, and it alone would warrant significant punishment.”
In addition to the prison sentence and probation, Howell ordered Rubenacker to pay $2,000 in compensation for the estimated $2.7 million in damage to the Capitol. She ordered that he be allowed to remain out of custody until the Bureau of Prisons determines where he will serve his sentence.
[Images via FBI court filings.]
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https://lawandcrime.com/u-s-capitol-breach/new-york-man-who-chased-officer-eugene-goodman-inside-the-capitol-building-on-jan-6-gets-years-behind-bars/ Greg Rubenacker has been sentenced to jail in the Eugene Goodman Chase case