An Idaho man who hit a police officer with a pipe as he stormed the US Capitol last year has been sentenced to more than four years in federal prison
BOISE, Idaho — An Idaho man who hit a police officer with a pipe as part of the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol last year was sentenced Friday to more than four years in federal prison.
Duke Edward Wilson, a 68-year-old lumberjack from the small town of Nampa, told US District Judge Royce Lamberth he could not remember many of his actions. Prosecutors said he attacked at least three officers in a US Capitol tunnel on January 6, 2021.
Lamberth said the 51-month sentence – the maximum allowed under federal sentencing guidelines – was necessary because the insurgency was “a horrible day for our country”.
“It’s a message for the court to send, that our country can’t deal with this,” Lamberth said.
Federal judges overseeing the hundreds of cases against those accused of participating in the insurgency have heard a litany of apologies and expressions of remorse from those convicted in the dozens of sentences handed down so far. here.
More than 700 people have been charged with crimes related to the Capitol siege, and more than 200 of them have pleaded guilty.
Besides Wilson, at least five other defendants have been convicted of assaulting police and most received prison terms ranging from 41 to 63 months.
Wilson pleaded guilty last September to assaulting, resisting or obstructing officers and obstructing an official process, both felonies.
In exchange for his plea, federal prosecutors agreed to drop several other related charges. Wilson and his attorney, Charles Peterson, did not physically appear in court for the sentencing hearing in federal court in Washington, D.C. and called from Peterson’s office in Boise, Idaho.
United States Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell told the judge during the hearing that he was still suffering from the injuries he suffered after Wilson’s attack, that he had undergone surgery to fuse a bone in his foot and to repair his shoulder and that he may need further shoulder surgery.
Prosecutors said Wilson loaded a set of doors into the tunnel and stopped officers from closing them, then tried to rain beatings on officers using a thin PVC pipe he had apparently found on the ground. Gonell tried to keep the hose from hitting a fellow officer who did not have a helmet, he said.
“Both my hands were bleeding at that point from the blockage,” Gonnell said. “He insisted on continuing to fight me to keep us from closing that gate, which would allow him and his fellow insurgents to advance through the tunnel and the Capitol as members of Congress and the Senate were evacuated. by the same route.
But Wilson characterized his actions differently in a written statement given to the court, saying he was carried away by the mob and pushed towards the gates.
Wilson also claimed that he did not recall his more aggressive actions, but acknowledged that he committed them based on videos from the scene.
“It was stupid for me to do something like that,” he told the judge. “I made a really bad decision going to this place that day.”
Gonell criticized what he called Wilson’s “fake remorse” and said he believed Wilson would attack the Capitol again if he heard the same “rallying cry” he made on Jan. 6.
“I vividly remember what happened to me that day, to him,” Gonell said. “Over a year later I am still unable to put on my police uniform due to these injuries due to what he did to me and my fellow officers.”
Wilson must serve 3 years of supervised probation after his release from prison, the judge said.
He will also have to pay restitution that is still being determined for damage to the US Capitol building and Gonell.