A Capitol rioter who attacked police officers working to hold back crowds on Jan. 6 was sentenced Friday to more than five years behind bars, the most so far for anyone sentenced in the breach.
Robert Palmer, 54, of Largo, Florida, wept as he told U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan that he recently watched a video of his actions that day and could not believe what he was seeing.
“Your honor. I’m really really ashamed of what I did,” he said through tears.
Palmer was one of several rioters sentenced on Friday in District of Columbia court for their actions that day, when the angry mob descended to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s victory following a rally by then-President Donald Trump.
Palmer is the 65th defendant to be sentenced overall. More than 700 people have been charged.
A college student who posted online that “Infamy is just as good as fame” after she climbed through a broken window at Capitol was sentenced to a month in jail for her actions. Gracyn Courtright, 23, of Hurricane, West Virginia, didn’t injure anyone, though, and her sentence reflected that.
But Palmer made his way to the front line during the chaos and started to attack, throwing a wooden plank, spraying a fire extinguisher, then hurling it when it was done. He rooted around for other objects, prosecutors said. He was briefly pepper-sprayed by police before he attacked officers again with a pole. He pleaded guilty to attacking officers.
Palmer said in a handwritten letter to the judge that he felt betrayed by Trump and his allies, who he alleged had fed them conspiracy theories.