WASHINGTON – An ‘angry’ Donald Trump fan has been sentenced to death 46 months in Jail Friday for assaulting law enforcement officers with a Trump flag and joining a crowd to use a giant Trump billboard as a ram when rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
The government said Howard Richardson, 72, of Prussia, Pennsylvania, “contributed to the breach of the police line that led directly to the storming of the gates of the Capitol.” Federal Public Prosecution Request 46 months in prison for Richardson, the father of a 20-year-old veteran police officer, according to the government.
“Richardson also incorrectly insisted that he had the ‘Back the Blue’ flag on January 6 and not the Trump flag,” the government said, adding (misspelling ‘unfazed’): By mocking the use of a pro-police symbol to attack a police officer, Richardson made this assertion even though the video clip clearly shows his flag being a blue and red “Trump” flag.
Judge Colin Kollar-Kotelly sentenced Richardson to more than 3.5 years in prison, saying he underestimated his actions at the hearing, misled the FBI about his actions, and twice came up with “excuses” for what he did.
“This is a serious crime,” Kollar-Kotelly said, adding that the video showed Richardson was “extremely angry” when he hoisted a Trump flagpole over an officer.
“The intent must have been to injure the officer, and there is no other reason to do so,” Kollar-Kotelly said.
“It was a rebellion, it wasn’t a protest, and it certainly wasn’t a peaceful protest,” she added.
Richardson told the court that he apologized for his actions.
“I’m sorry,” Richardson said. “It was not my intention at all.” He said he was expecting a party and “celebration” because he believed Republicans would stop certifying Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
“I lost my temper,” Richardson said of attacking an officer with a flag pole. “I should never have done it…there is no excuse for what I did.”
The government argued in court that the ruling on the higher end of the guidelines was justified due to Richardson’s behavior and background, which included further confrontations with the police.
Emily W said. Allen, Assistant US Attorney for the Court on Friday, “Since the time of Mr. Richardson’s arrest, we have learned a lot of information.” “He has a pattern in recent years of behaving very dangerously.”
“Mr. Richardson was front and center” as the mob assaulted police with a bulletin board, the attorney general said.
Richardson’s attorney emphasized Richardson’s age and need to take care of his business.
“There is no justification, no excuse,” defense attorney Thomas Egan said on Friday.
Describing Egan Richardson as a “stubborn man,” he said it took him some time for him to realize the consequences of his actions, but that the judge might “take a chance on Mr. Richardson.”
Richardson said he was a good citizen and a good neighbor, and spoke of his military service and business.
“I learned my lesson, your honor,” Richardson said. I was coming down as a patriot to celebrate. … I just want to go back to my life.”