Mark Leffingwell gets six months to punch a cop on January 6

Mark Leffingwell confronts police at the US Capitol on January 6

Mark Leffingwell confronts police at the US Capitol on January 6. (Photo via FBI.)

The Washington state man who punched two police officers during a standoff at the Capitol on January 6 has been sentenced to six months in prison.

Mark Leffingwell, 52, pleaded guilty in October to one count of assaulting, resisting or obstructing police officers. He faced police inside the Capitol building as officers struggled to hold back the crowd, and when officers made the move to push Leffingwell and the others out of the building, Leffingwell fought back. He punches the Capitol Police for the first time Daniel Amendola in the head and then punch the officer Wyatt Hart, also in the head. Next, he punches Amendola again. The officers were not seriously injured and were able to subdue Leffingwell and take him to jail.

Prosecutors have request sentence of 27 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. It is not clear what sentence Leffingwell requested, as his sentencing transcripts were sealed and therefore were not immediately released.

At Leffingwell’s sentencing hearing on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson says he was one of the toughest sentencing decisions she faced.

Jackson, one Barack Obama The appointee, acknowledging Leffingwell’s military service, noted that he was a “decorated veteran” who served twice: after an honorary discharge, he then re-enlisted to join the army. war in Iraq, where he suffered a traumatic brain injury.

“You served your country already, but you chose to serve again,” Jackson said.

But that history, Jackson added, means Leffingwell “should have known better” rather than joining the crowd. Donald Trump supporters overwhelmed the police to flood the US Capitol and temporarily prevent Congress from certifying Joe Bidenwon the 2020 presidential election.

Jackson drew particular attention to a verbal exchange in which an officer told Leffingwell that he was doing his job to protect the Capitol.

“That’s what the Nazis said,” Leffingwell replied.

Jackson told the defendant: “Even then you know it’s not at all surprising. “You are a man of service, a man of duty, a student of history. You know they’re doing what they’re supposed to do. It’s the same thing you explained to school children [about] what you did in Iraq: Defend our country. Defend our freedom. ”

Jackson says Leffingwell does more than just join the crowd. Once inside the Capitol building, he urged the crowd in the back to continue pushing forward through the line of police officers trying to stop them out.

“You looked down on people who didn’t want to [confront] overwhelming force [of police] inside,” Jackson said. “You think they are cowards. . . they were scared, as you say. And you were proud that you didn’t. “

“You chose this battle and you applauded yourself for your bravery,” Jackson added.

However, Jackson admitted that Leffingwell showed remorse almost immediately, apologizing to the officers when he met them shortly after being detained.

“I want to emphasize that I’m ashamed and ashamed of myself for what happened,” Leffingwell said at the hearing. He pointed out that the whole thing was a “nightmare” for him.

“I’m sorry to have wasted everyone’s time,” he said, adding: “I wish I could go back and make that not happen.”

In the end, Jackson sentenced Leffingwell to six months behind bars, followed by two years of supervised release. She also ordered him to perform 200 hours of community service.

Jackson said that because she feels she cannot trust Leffingwell to avoid miscommunication, he will be barred from leaving Washington state while on probation or visiting the state capitol without prior authorization.

In a comment presumably directed to an audience after Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Jackson said it “needs to be clear” that the January 6 attack on the capital “was not legitimate political discourse. ”

Jackson added that there was no good reason for attacking the capital to support a “disappointed candidate” to “disrupt the election process.”

Jackson gave Leffingwell’s attorney Mark Carroll a week to provide more information on how the prison sentence might affect Leffingwell’s ability to receive his military pension, as Jackson made it clear that the “deprivation of [him] disability allowance [he] really earned and that [he and his family] worthy.”

Jackson also said she will allow Leffingwell to voluntarily surrender herself to federal prison when it is time to begin serving his sentence and not require him to be detained immediately.

[Images via FBI court filings.]

Is there a trick we should know? [email protected] Mark Leffingwell gets six months to punch a cop on January 6

James Brien

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