A Michigan piper who modeled for the cover of a romance novel was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison for attacking police at the U.S. Capitol during a mob attack.
Logan Barnhart joined the most brutal confrontation between rioters and police January 6, 2021. He grabbed an officer by the neck and torso and dragged him into a crowd of rioters on the Capitol’s Lower West Terrace. A few minutes later, he returned to a police line and waved a flag at the officers.
Barnhart, 42, of Holt, Michigan, said he did not recognize himself in a video shown in court, which captured him attacking the officer.
“The way I was acting seemed foreign to me,” he told US District Judge Rudolph Contreras.
Contreras sentenced Barnhart to three years of supervised release after his incarceration and ordered him to pay a $3,688 fine and $2,000 in restitution. Contreras said someone who “directly and blatantly” attacks police is inherently dangerous to the public.
“He ran into the fight,” the judge said.
Earlier Thursday, a former Capitol Police officer avoided a prison sentence for helping a Virginia fisherman avoid felony charges after his law enforcement colleagues stormed the building on Jan. 6. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Michelangelo Riley to two years in prison. Probation and four months’ house arrest.
Riley, a 25-year police veteran, was on duty when a mob attacked the Capitol, injuring more than 100 officers. Riley’s voice cracks as she laments how her “terrible judgment” has cost her her career, tarnished her reputation, ended friendships in the department and hurt her family.
“The amount of regret and remorse I have for this situation is unimaginable,” Riley told the judge.
In Barnhart’s case, federal prosecutors recommended a prison sentence of five years and three months. Barnhart remained under house arrest awaiting his sentence. The judge ordered him to remain under house arrest until he reports to prison on a date.
NEW: Feds seek 5.25 years in federal prison for romance cover model Logan Barnhart, who dragged a cop down a flight of stairs and was identified by online sleuths. #catsweat #seditionhunters pic.twitter.com/vaAXHXAhFq
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) February 24, 2023
Barnhart worked as a pipelayer and heavy machine operator for construction companies. NBC News reported that Barnhart has modeled the covers of romance novels, including “Stepbrother Unsealed: A Bad Boy Military Romance.” Internet sleuths using facial recognition technology found photos from Barnhart’s modeling career, NBC reported.
Defense attorney Michelle Peterson said Barnhart traveled alone to Washington, D.C., to attend the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally because she wanted to support then-President Donald Trump and believed baseless claims that Democrats had stolen the election from Republicans. .
“Now two years removed from the chaos of that day, he is deeply remorseful and doesn’t understand how he was so foolish,” Peterson wrote.
Barnhart was charged along with other riot defendants in the same indictment.
Barnhart and co-defendants Jack Wheaton and Jeffrey Sabol dragged a Metropolitan Police Department officer away from police lines, up stairs and into the crowd, where co-defendants Peter Steger and Mason Joel Courson beat the officer with flags and batons. to the prosecutors.
Barnhart was arrested in August 2021 and convicted in September 2022 of assaulting an officer with a dangerous weapon.
“He threw that officer to the wolves,” said prosecutor Bennett Carney.
Barnhart wrote a letter of apology to the officer, US Capitol Police Officer Maurice Moore. He said that he was ashamed of his behavior on January 6.
“I spent months trying to forget what happened. It was devastating to have the face and name of the person I assaulted,” Barnhart wrote. “You’re a police officer I respect as an authority figure and a man I respect as a hard-working blue-collar worker who puts his safety at risk to protect me while doing my job. Small differences that tear our beautiful country apart. It seems to be doing.”
Prosecutors recommended two years and three months in prison in the case against Riley, a former Capitol police officer.
The judge said Riley’s actions were “shocking behavior for any member of law enforcement.”
“You know how bad January 6 was,” he added. Jackson ordered him to pay a $10,000 fine and perform 150 hours of community service.
On January 6, 2021, Riley investigated a report of an explosive device at the Republican National Committee headquarters and assisted an injured officer. The next day, he posted a Facebook message calling for federal charges against anyone who assaults police, damages property or violates the Capitol.
“If we don’t send a message, it will definitely happen again,” he wrote.
Less than two hours later, Riley read a Facebook post from Jacob Hills, a fisherman he recognized from YouTube videos. Hills wrote about his own participation in the riots and posted a video of rioters clashing with police.
Riley, 51, of Maryland, personally messaged Hills and identified himself as a Capitol Police officer who agreed with his “political stance.”
“Participate in the building they are currently investigating and everyone who was in the building will be charged. Just looking!” Riley wrote.
They continue to exchange friendly messages until Hills tells Riley that the FBI is “very curious” that they are communicating.
“They took my phone and downloaded everything,” Hills wrote.
Riley immediately deleted all of their private messages, according to prosecutors.
Riley was charged with two counts of obstruction of justice. In October 2022, a jury convicted him on one count but deadlocked on the second.
Reilly described his actions as “stupid and reckless” but said he did not believe he was breaking the law.
“It certainly doesn’t excuse my lapse in judgment,” he said.
Hills pleaded guilty in September 2021 to a misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing a Capitol building. Jackson sentenced him to two years of probation in December 2021 and ordered him to complete 60 hours of community service.
More than 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Jan. 6 riots. More than 600 of them were convicted or found guilty after a trial was decided by a jury or judge. More than 450 of them were sentenced, with more than half receiving prison terms ranging from seven days to 10 years.
Last month, a federal judge in Washington, DC, issued a warning about the risk of future political violence and ongoing misinformation and denial about the January 6 attack. Judge Reggie Walton That the United States is in a “frightening moment” where democracy remains imperiled.
“It’s scary going forward as a country where we’re ending up,” said Walton, who directed a Jan. 6 series. “Because what happened on January 6 is not a thing of the past. Unfortunately, it is something that still haunts us because the people who did what happened are still engaged in the same rhetoric that led to the frenzy. That day. It is a very serious situation because it is ours as a democracy. It goes to the core of what’s meant to be.”
Attack on the US Capitol
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