A Navy veteran who touted his navy service all through his trial on a variety of expenses stemming from his function within the Jan. 6, 2021, siege on the Capitol was sentenced to almost 5 years in jail in federal courtroom on Thursday.
Kenneth Joseph Owen Thomas, 41, was sentenced to 4 years and 10 months of jail, adopted by three years of probation in addition to a $20,000 tremendous and $2,000 of restitution, after being discovered responsible on seven expenses that included assault towards cops and disorderly conduct offenses. Jurors additionally acquitted him of two counts that included obstructing a congressional continuing and deadlocked on two different counts.
Thomas was filmed bodily and verbally attacking cops who have been making an attempt to maintain the large throng of protesters from getting into the U.S. Capitol that day. Then, after he was charged, prosecutors mentioned he “acted as a one-man misinformation machine,” not solely denying the occasions of that day however fundraising off his standing as a defendant and providing a platform to different deniers.
On the day of the riot, Thomas, who lives in Ohio, got here to Washington, D.C., together with his spouse and little one, courtroom paperwork say. After attending the “Cease the Steal” rally on the Ellipse, Thomas and his household began to march down Pennsylvania Avenue towards the U.S. Capitol constructing. The veteran testified in courtroom that as they received near the compound, his spouse mentioned, “One thing [is] not proper, after which she requested me, you recognize, please go away proper now.”
Thomas despatched his spouse and little one to security however testified that he instructed them, “I can go and assist … That is what the navy trains you to do, is you go in the direction of the hazard and supply any form of assist which you can.”
As soon as he arrived, nonetheless, video captured him hitting and punching officers and egging on the mob. Prosecutors mentioned that he shouted chants like “Police stand down” and “that is our home.”
“Thomas joined a ‘again the blue’ chant, however then additionally joined in when the group started yelling,
‘TRAITORS, TRAITORS, TRAITORS’ on the similar police line,” a courtroom doc mentioned.
He additionally yelled on the police that “all of us took the identical oath, I am a veteran, I took the identical oath you took,” prosecutors alleged.
Thomas’ attorneys argued in a sentencing memo that he was “brutally conscious of the seriousness of his conduct” on the day of the Jan. 6 riot and is taking “full and full accountability for his actions.”
“Not one of the officers contacted by Mr. Thomas on Jan. 6 reported any bodily ache or accidents attributed to Mr. Thomas,” the memo argued.
After his arrest, Thomas famous his Navy service to his probation officer, however prosecutors identified in a sentencing memo that he misled them in regards to the nature of his service.
In accordance with information supplied by the Navy to Army.com, Thomas enlisted within the service in June 2000 however served for less than three years, separating in October 2003 as an E-2 apprentice airman.
His solely responsibility station was Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213 in Oceana, Virginia, and his awards embrace two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, suggesting he spent no less than three months at sea on two events.
Nevertheless, on his fundraising marketing campaign web page, Thomas described himself as “a Navy veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom [Afghanistan] & Operation Iraqi Freedom [Iraq].” Information supplied by the Navy, nonetheless, don’t present medals that will usually be awarded for collaborating in these operations.
Prosecutors famous in a single submitting that “Thomas actively misled the probation officer throughout his presentence interview, significantly concerning his dismissal from the Navy,” telling them he had one “non-judicial punishment for an unspecified offense” when he truly obtained three non-judicial punishments and was “in the end dismissed in connection together with his misconduct.”
That submitting famous that these three punishments have been over making “upsetting speech and gestures” at a fellow sailor, being absent with out permission, and utilizing methamphetamines and marijuana.
General, the Navy busted Thomas down in rank, put him within the brig for a month and gave him a common discharge over the span of the three offenses. After his discharge, Thomas continued to have run-ins with the legislation, together with a home battery and felony housebreaking conviction.
After he was charged, Thomas took to leveraging his standing as a Jan. 6 defendant, explaining away his conduct and the conduct of different rioters on livestreams, podcasts and in-person appearances just like the “Jan. 6 Reality and Gentle Freedom Pageant.”
All that exercise helped increase “over $77,607 in charitable contributions,” in response to courtroom filings. These efforts included establishing a raffle the place one of many prizes was a “USA v THOMAS Trial Transcript, signed by the defendant and attorneys,” the prosecution famous.
On the time of publication, Thomas’ GiveSendGo marketing campaign web page exhibits he raised simply over $80,000 in funds.
Prosecutors had requested for a jail time period of simply over 9 years and argued for a tremendous of $77,607, arguing that he “shouldn’t be permitted to maintain a single cent of this cash as a result of doing so would enable him to ‘capitalize’ on his crime.”
Thomas now turns into the newest in a line of navy veterans, and even some active-duty service members, who’ve been charged for his or her half within the assault on the U.S. Capitol constructing that day.
In accordance with the George Washington College’s Mission on Extremism, greater than 115 Jan. 6 defendants have some type of navy background.
— Konstantin Toropin may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Observe him on X at @ktoropin.