Jailed U.S. mother who took child to Jan.6 Capitol riot

A North Carolina woman who brought her 14-year-old son to the United States Capitol during last year’s riot sentenced to three months in prison.

US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said she found it “very difficult to understand” why Virginia Marie Spencer and her husband took their child to the building during a violent insurgency.

Spencer’s husband Christopher Raphael Spencer has also been arrested. He has pleaded not guilty to riot related charges.

A woman who took her son to the United States Capitol during the January 6 riots has been jailed. (PA)

“It must have been a traumatic experience to witness this kind of violence,” said the judge.

“It’s a complete lack of judgment on your part.”

Spencer must report to jail to begin serving his 90-day sentence by February 25. The judge also sentenced her to three years’ probation.

Spencer and her husband rushed to the Capitol with their 14-year-old son “in tow” despite seeing police fire tear gas at the crowd, a federal prosecutor wrote in a court file.

More than 700 people have been charged with the riot. (PA)

The Spencers joined other rioters who overwhelmed a line of police, invaded the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and demanded entry into the House chamber, according to the filing.

Virginia Spencer pleaded guilty in September to marching, demonstrating or picketing a Capitol building, an offense punishable by up to six months in prison.

Prosecutors recommended a three-month jail term, three years probation and US $ 500 ($ 696) for restitution. His defense lawyer, Allen Orenberg, has requested a sentence of one year of probation with community service.

US President Joe Biden condemned the motives for the riot during a speech on this week’s anniversary. (PA)

More than 700 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Jan.6, 2021 attack on Capitol Hill.

More than 170 of them have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanor charges. Spencer was at least the 75th riot defendant to be sentenced.

Spencer, a Pilot Mountain mother of five who works as a restaurant cashier, was arrested in Durham, North Carolina, in February.

On January 6, 2021, the Spencers and their son marched to Capitol Hill behind a group of far-right Proud Boys members. The couple briefly stopped to yell names at a counter-protester, prosecutors said.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at his Save America rally in Perry, Georgia on Saturday, September 25, 2021 (AP Photo / Ben Gray)
Former US President Donald Trump has been charged with inciting rioting. (PA)

Inside the Capitol, Christopher Spencer caught live video on Facebook as he and his wife briefly walked into Ms Pelosi’s office, prosecutors said.

“It should be noted that President Pelosi had staff members who were trapped inside this suite as rioters called on President Pelosi to get away from them,” wrote a prosecutor.

Virginia Spencer later joined a group of rioters chanting “Stop Theft!” And “Break it!” outside the chamber door of the House, although prosecutors say she was not vocal or in front of that crowd.

The Spencers spent more than 30 minutes inside the Capitol before leaving.

Spencer’s lawyer said she had “eaten” media coverage of protests that erupted across the country in the summer of 2020 after a white police officer killed a black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis.

The Capitol closed after a day of chaos

“After months of watching our great cities burn, many people became convinced that outrage in the form of protests was the only way to make their voices heard,” Orenberg wrote in a court filing.

Spencer also believed former US President Donald Trump’s lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him, his lawyer has said.

“Ms. Spencer did not come to Washington, DC with the intention of overthrowing democracy,” Mr. Orenberg wrote.

She came “to protest peacefully against what she believed at the time to be a fraudulent election.”

A prosecutor said Virginia Spencer “felt she was embarking on a noble enterprise as a representative of the citizens.”

“She couldn’t have been more wrong,” the prosecutor wrote.

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