A 49-year-old grandmother from Indiana, the first person to be sentenced for charges linked to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, will get probation, not jail time.
U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth sentenced Anna Morgan-Lloyd on Wednesday to three years of probation and 120 hours of community service and to pay $500 in restitution after the Donald Trump supporter pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of “parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol Building.”
The sentence was decried as a “slap on the wrist” by some calling for stiffer penalties for the 500 people arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, but the judge warned that Ms. Morgan-Lloyd’s case was unique.
“I don’t want to create the impression that probation is the automatic outcome here, because it’s not going to be,” Judge Lamberth said.
Ms. Morgan-Lloyd reportedly told the judge during sentencing that she is “ashamed that it became a savage display of violence that day.”
The prosecution’s case included screenshots of photos posted online by Ms. Morgan-Lloyd inside the Capitol during the riots. She admitted she was in the building for 10 minutes, but said she did no damage.
Court documents show investigators were alerted about Ms. Morgan-Lloyd by the Green County Sheriff’s Office after an employee reported seeing riot-related social media posts by the Bloomington woman, who had been recognized by the employee as a gun-permit applicant.
Prosecutors did not seek the maximum penalty for the parading charge, which includes six months in prison, a $5,000 fine and one year of supervised release, noting in court filings that Ms. Morgan-Lloyd did not damage the building and was inside for only a “brief period.”
In a letter to the judge, the defendant said “It was never my intent to help empower people to act violently.
“At first it didn’t dawn on me, but later I realized that if every person like me, who wasn’t violent, was removed from that crowd, the ones who were violent may have lost the nerve to do what they did,” she wrote. “For that, I am sorry and take responsibility.”
H. Heather Shaner, Ms. Morgan-Lloyd’s attorney, described her client in another letter to the judge as “a fine woman, who respects the rights of others and apologizes to the Court and our country for entering the Capitol — albeit through an open door.”
Ms. Shaner also said her client has now seen films like “Burning Tulsa” and read books like “Schindler’s List” to learn about “‘government policy’ toward native Americans, African Americans and European Jews.”
The judge allowed Ms. Morgan-Lloyd to submit documents with her own summaries and reactions to one movie and one book. She described “Schindler’s List” as “hard to watch and hard not to watch” and said “Just Mercy” made her rethink her stance on the death penalty.
“She did this to educate herself and to learn the American history she was not taught in school,” the attorney wrote. “She has worked hard to come to terms with what she believed before January 6th, 2021 and what she has learned since then.”
Also on Wednesday, a member of the right-wing extremist Oath Keepers group pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding.
Graydon Young, 54, of Englewood, Florida, is reportedly the first of 16 group members and supporters to plead guilty in the wide-ranging conspiracy suit. Prosecutors claim video shows he participated in a military-style “stack” while making his way through the crowd before going into the Capitol.
The obstruction charge carries a maximum of 20 years in prison but U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta said federal guidelines call for 6 1/2 years or less.
Wednesday’s legal developments come one week after U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said the agency still has an “enormous task ahead” with the arrests and prosecutions linked to Jan. 6.
In the last two weeks, at least four other defendants, including a Tennessee man, a Maryland man and a Virginia couple, have also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges.
• This article is based in part on wire service reports.