A Utah piano teacher involved in the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol complex was sentenced to 30 days in prison on Wednesday afternoon.
Janet Buehler, 56, in January pleaded guilty to one charge of parading, demonstrating or picketing a Capitol building. This charge is a misdemeanor carrying a possible six-month prison sentence. As a result of her request, the government agreed to drop four additional charges related to her participation in the program.donald trump Revolt.
During sentencing, Assistant US Attorney Hava Mirell attempted to portray the accused as the main actor in the attack, temporarily forcing Congress to stop confirming the president Joe BidenElection victory 2020.
The prosecutor described alarms blaring, pane after pane of shattered glass from smashed windows and doors, and a cacophony of violent shouts and threats inside the building’s national seat of legislative government.
“1776!” shouted a chorus of mobs, said Mirell, as the rioters attempted to move forward. “Our house! Squeeze!”
The prosecutor then determined that some of the screamers were explicitly violent and directed their ire at cops trying to hold the line and fight off the pro-Trump crowd that day.
“Your life is not worth it!” they said to the officers. “You will die.”
Mirell acknowledged that she couldn’t say for sure if Bühler heard any of the direct threats against law enforcement, but that the general “flavor” of the scene that day would have been apparent.
And the defendant, the prosecutor said, “took an extra step” by disrupting government business and “violated our norms” by going into the U.S. Senate chamber, even though most rioters in the building were in mostly public areas stayed.
Mirell added that Bühler “should have known” or “should have known” with “every step she took” down hallways past locked doors and offices that she wasn’t supposed to be there.
defender Brett Tolman spent most of his time making an impassioned plea for the kind of person his client is compared to most defendants he has represented in the past.
“Janet Buehler is very different,” said the defense attorney, citing her as a unique example in his 25 years of defense work.
“For a significant number of months and years, she has worked to improve those around her,” Tolman continued, saying Buhler used her “sewing expertise” to help the homeless and her “music.” -Know-how” to help kids navigate their future elite piano playing careers.
Bühler had gone to the US Capitol complex with her son-in-law, the former Salt Lake City police detective — and before that, to the pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” rally based on false claims of voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election Michael Lee Hardin50. He pleaded guilty to the same picketing and picketing charges as Bühler and was eventually fined $500 and probated 18 months.
“I’m asking for a lesser punishment than Mr. Hardin because Janet earns more,” Tolman said.
The defense attorney was referring to a poster at the US Department of Justice headquarters which he said discusses “consistent application of the law” as a hallmark of the judiciary itself.
US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly dismissed the implication that she was bound by the verdict another judge had given Hardin.
During a discussion of what she described as “parity,” the judge said she referred to numerous other cases of this nature, including some of her own, in determining Bühler’s 30-day sentence.
“This is a serious offense,” Kollar-Kotelly said, adding that the defendant watched the rioters crush the police officers.
“It was certainly noisy, it wasn’t a quiet demonstration,” added the judge.
“Buhler cheered and applauded as the rioters breached the doors of the east rotunda,” said the judge, noting that the defendant was not just a passive participant in the ultimately deadly scuffle. “That would certainly have encouraged and incited the rioters.”
Kollar-Kotelly took stock of various competing points about the defendant that went into determining her conviction.
“She was in the Capitol for 28 minutes,” the judge said. “And she went in shortly after it was breached.”
Kollar-Kotelly noted that Buhler admittedly took photos in the Capitol and then deleted them because “they weren’t flattering photos of her, but she destroyed evidence anyway.”
“She surrendered herself,” the judge stated. “She has pleaded guilty.”
But, the court said, there were some ambiguities in the plea hearing that almost led to the plea being dismissed.
As Law&Crime previously reported, there was a slight cloud of dust over whether Bühler didn’t believe there were barriers blocking access to the Capitol that day, or whether she simply hadn’t seen those barriers. However, after some back and forth, the judge accepted Bühler’s lawsuit.
Still, Kollar-Kotelly said prior to Buhler’s speech today, it was not clear to the court that the defendant understood the impact of her actions in the Capitol on the country at large.
“After her testimony today, I’m more optimistic that she has some understanding of what that means,” the judge said.
Bühler’s explanation was lengthy and contrite.
“I want to say I’m really sorry you’re all here today,” she began, addressing the court. “Not only do I regret going into the US Capitol on January 6th, I shouldn’t have made that trip to Washington, DC in the first place… I should have made my own decisions and trusted my own instincts, but instead I’m with you.” gone horde.”
“My intentions were never malicious or destructive,” she continued. “If I could do it all over again, I would have insisted on doing what I had planned that day, which didn’t include going to the Capitol.”
Bühler went on to say that going to the Capitol was “one of the worst” decisions she’s ever made, and that it particularly upset her family and friends — especially her husband and children.
“I am ashamed to say that this has become a pivotal moment in my life and I don’t want to be defined for that,” she added. “I have such a feeling of regret, guilt and disappointment. I would undo this day if I could. I feel shame, regret, guilt and disappointment.”
Bühler insisted she didn’t want “pity,” but said she deserved “to be punished for it.” [her] Crime.”
“It was pure hell,” she concluded.
The judge, based on undisputed facts and testimonies, described Bühler as something of a pillar in her community. The defendant, she said, was a woman who had “lived a life otherwise characterized by grace and kindness.”
“You’re obviously intelligent,” Kollar-Kotelly said, addressing the defendant directly. “You are creative. You are successful.”
The judge said she wanted to send a message with her verdict and remind Bühler that she does not live in an authoritarian dictatorship.
“You live in a country with unparalleled freedoms protected by the rule of law,” added Kollar-Kotelly.
In addition to the 30-day prison sentence, Bühler received 36 months probation and a $10 fine. She must also pay $500 in damages, which her attorney says she can pay immediately.
Kollar-Kotelly, a bill clinton Appointment, agreed to set a surrender date acceptable to the defendant so that she could help her adult son, who is a drug addict, to sort out some of his affairs. Bühler should surrender and serve her sentence “not before August 8,” the judge said.
[image via FBI]
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