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Capitol Rioter's Jail Sentence Is a Wash

Michael Curzio, who joined a white supremacist gang, gets 6 months, has been behind bars that long
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2021 6:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – A defendant in the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol was given a six-month jail sentence Monday, but because he's been held since the week after the riot, Michael Curzio will go free Wednesday. Judge Carl Nichols said in federal court that he lacked the authority to impose a longer sentence anyway, CNN reports. "I think that six-month sentence is appropriate here," Nichols said, nothing that "Mr. Curzio will have, in two days, served that entire sentence." Curzio took the standard deal offered to riot defendants who didn't commit violence, pleading guilty to one count of unlawfully protesting in the Capitol and being fined $500 for repairs to the building. "Obviously, I was in the wrong," Curzio said in court, per ClickOrlando. "I did do it."

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Curzio's record is the reason he hadn't been released before trial. He was convicted of attempted murder for shooting the boyfriend of his ex-girlfriend. While in prison, Curzio became a member of a white supremacist gang. He has said that he did that for his own protection and that he's no longer an active member. But he still has gang tattoos and Nazi markings. On Jan. 6, prosecutors said, Curzio was in a group that invaded the Capitol Visitors Center. Police arrested Curzio and others after they didn't leave when ordered to. Curzio said he didn't hear the order to leave but said, "I did parade, demonstrate and picket." He said he complied during his arrest. "I accept responsibility for my actions and what I did," Curzio told the judge. More than a dozen other riot defendants are awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty. (The first riot sentence imposed was probation.)

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