“Jan. 6 Capitol Riot Defendant Sentenced to Prison for Assaulting Police with Flagpole”

By | July 12, 2023

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On Tuesday, a Jan. 6 defendant was sentenced to over three years in federal prison for storming the Capitol and assaulting police with a flagpole. Matthew Beddingfield, 22, from North Carolina, pleaded guilty to a felony count of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers using a deadly or dangerous weapon during the Capitol attack. It was revealed that Beddingfield was already out on bail for a charge of first-degree attempted murder when he participated in the Capitol riot.

Beddingfield was first identified by online “Sedition Hunters” who have been identifying Jan. 6 participants. They found photos of Beddingfield at the Capitol and linked him to a previous arrest in connection with the shooting of a Hispanic teenager in a Walmart parking lot. He had taken an Alford plea in the murder case, acknowledging the evidence against him without admitting guilt.

Despite Beddingfield’s defense team arguing that he was young and influenced by the crowd, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Murphy described his actions as “atrocious” and stated that he “continued seeking out violence” during the Capitol attack. The government also revealed that Beddingfield held white supremacist beliefs and praised Adolf Hitler.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols sentenced Beddingfield to 38 months in prison, considering his conduct on Jan. 6. The judge did not factor in Beddingfield’s beliefs, stating that the sentence was a reflection of his actions rather than his ideology.

Beddingfield’s attorney presented photos of him with diverse friends and co-workers, emphasizing that he lived a life of diversity and inclusion. She also argued that Beddingfield’s age and stature made him vulnerable in prison.

Over 1,000 people have been arrested in connection with the Capitol attack, with more than 300 already sentenced to incarceration. The sentencing of Beddingfield serves as a reminder that participants in the Jan. 6 attack will be held accountable for their actions, regardless of their beliefs or motivations..

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