An Ohio resident who participated in the events of January 6 but claimed he stormed the capitol under "presidential orders” from former President Donald Trump was found guilty by a jury in less than three hours.
Dustin Byron Thompson, 38, was convicted of the five charges he was being tried for, including stealing a coat rack from a Capitol Building office during the riot, the Associated Press reported.
Thompson faces up to 20 years in prison for obstruction, the only felony he was on trial for.
Thompson has insisted that he was only participating in storming the capitol due to orders from Trump and members of his inner circle, but the jury did not believe his defense.
One of the jurors reportedly said under condition of anonymity to members of the press as he walked out of the court building: “Everyone agrees that Donald Trump is culpable as an overall narrative. Lots of people were there and then went home. Dustin Thompson did not."
Thompson took the stand a day before the trial ended, admitting that he had joined the crowd pushing into the capitol and had stolen a coat rack and a bottle of bourbon. But he said he regretted his “disgraceful” actions.
“I can’t believe the things that I did,” he said. “Mob mentality and group think is very real and very dangerous.”
He blamed Trump for his participation, saying that the former’s president’s claim that the election was stolen caused him to feel like he had to involve himself in the events of that day.
“If the president is giving you almost an order to do something, I felt obligated to do that,” he said.
U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton will sentence Thompson on July 20. He described his testimony as “totally disingenuous” and ordered Thompson to be detained, saying he was a flight risk and a danger to the public.
Thompson was the third January 6 case to be heard by a jury out of hundreds being prosecuted by the Justice Department. In the other two cases, the jury also found the defendants guilty on all counts.
The judge had denied a request from Thompson’s lawyer to have Trump and Rudy Giuliani testify but he let jurors hear clips of speeches that both men gave on January 6 before the storming of the capitol took place.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat and Passover in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)