Proud Boy Who Broke Window of Capitol on Jan. 6 Gets Prison

Dominic Pezzola apologized, later shouted, 'Trump won!' leaving the courtroom
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2023 1:57 PM CDT
Proud Boy Who Broke Window of Capitol on Jan. 6 Gets Prison
Rioters, including Dominic Pezzola, holding a police shield, are confronted by US Capitol Police officers outside the Senate chamber inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

"You were the one who smashed that window and let people begin to stream into that Capitol building and threaten the lives of our lawmakers," a federal judge told Dominic Pezzola on Friday as he sentenced the Proud Boy to 10 years in prison. "It's not something I would have ever dreamed I would have seen in our country." Images of Pezzola breaking the Capitol window with a stolen police riot shield so rioters could storm the building came to represent the danger to democracy the attack on Jan. 6, 2021, posed, Politico reports. They also became part of the prosecution of Donald Trump in his subsequent impeachment trial.

Pezzola was tried in May with four other leaders of the Proud Boys, convicted of civil disorder, destruction of government property, assaulting a police officer, and the theft of the riot shield. He was acquitted of seditious conspiracy. Two of his codefendants received longer sentences this week; prosecutors sought 20 years for Pezzola. While in the Capitol, Pezzola made a video showing him smoking a cigar and saying, "I knew we could take this motherf----- over if we just tried hard enough." During his trial, he called the charges fake and stuck to conspiracy theories. But Pezzola apologized to the court on Friday and said, "I never should have crossed the barrier at the Capitol that day."

Pezzola's mother, wife, and daughter asked for mercy. His wife, Lisa Magee, told US District Judge Tim Kelly at sentencing that Pezzola was watching Fox News and getting drunk on the days leading up to Jan. 6. She said she had already canceled their cable news subscription, per NBC News. "I truly believe if he could go back and change ... that day that he would," Magee said. But she also called Pezzola, as she had when testifying during his trial, "a f---ing idiot." His daughters have been bullied and suffered for his actions, she said. After Kelly left the courtroom Friday, Pezzola turned to the spectators, raised a fist, and shouted, "Trump won!" (Codefendant Ethan Nordean was sentenced later Friday.)

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