Prosecutors obtained their first two guilty pleas of assaulting officers in the attack on the Capitol on January 6. Scott Fairlamb, who was filmed hitting an officer in the head, and Devlyn Thompson, who admitted to using a baton to assault a Metropolitan Police sergeant, both pleaded guilty on Friday.
Fairlamb, 44, pleaded guilty to two felonies – obstructing formal proceedings and aiding and abetting, and assault, resist or hinder certain agents. In return for his plea, he faces a recommended sentence of 41 to 51 months in prison, or about three to four years. He also agreed to cooperate with the FBI through an interview and pay $ 2,000 in restitution.
Shortly after Fairlamb pleaded guilty on Friday, Thompson pleaded guilty to assaulting, resisting or preventing certain officers from using a dangerous weapon – in his case, a baton. According to the Justice Department, the 28-year-old used the metal baton in an apparent attempt to drop a pepper spray from the hand of an officer. He was also part of a group that “threw objects and projectiles at police officers, including flag poles” and stole riot shields to prevent police from being able to defend themselves, the DOJ said.
Prosecutors did not specify a recommended sentence for Thompson during Friday’s hearing, but said his defense attorney indicated the sentencing guidelines level was 23. That level generally equates to 46 to 57 months, although ultimately the decision rests with the judge who will determine any sentence thereafter taking into account guidelines and other regulatory factors.
Fairlamb and Thompson’s guilty pleas are among the first to involve violent assaults in the attack on the Capitol. Although more than 30 defendants of the Capitol riots have pleaded guilty, Fairlamb and Thompson are among only eight to have pleaded guilty to crimes, and they are the first to plead guilty to assault charges against officers.
CBS News discovered that 150 agents wereduring the violent attack on the United States Capitol, and prosecutors have so far charged at least 170 people with criminal assault on a police officer. The FBI said it is still looking for hundreds of suspects accused of assaulting police.
Thompson’s attorney said on Friday his client was cooperating with the government, noting that he had met with the US attorney’s office and the FBI in several bidding sessions and given the government access to his social media accounts. Thompson’s attorneys have also said he plans to provide the US attorney’s office with a letter of apology to the sergeant he assaulted.
Thompson had been released on bail while cooperating with the government, but after pleading guilty on Friday, a federal judge ordered his detention while he awaits his conviction in September.
Fairlamb – who according to court documents is a gym owner, bar bouncer and security guard – was taken into custody following his arrest in January, after prosecutors cited the seriousness of his alleged offense and its lengthy criminal history, which includes at least two previous assaults. convictions.
Fairlamb had previously been charged with 12 counts, including civil unrest, obstruction of formal proceedings and physical violence in a restricted area.
Authorities mounted their case against Fairlamb with the help of at least four informants, who shared videos, some taken by Fairlamb himself, which painted a picture of his conduct throughout the day of January 6. as he climbed onto a scaffolding, shouted at the officers, and entered the Capitol building. .
In one video, prosecutors said, Fairlamb can be seen pushing and punching an officer on the Western Front of the Capitol. In the video, Fairlamb can be seen mocking a line of officers who prosecutors say were trying to make their way through the dense crowd outside the Capitol building.
A coalition of media, including CBS News, subsequently gained access to a video of the incident carried by police, which was released in court as evidence. In the footage, Fairlamb can be seen walking up to the officers and shouting, “Are you an American? Act like a whore! … You have no idea what you are doing. Not a single fucking idea.” ”
Prosecutors said an officer, trying to catch up with his colleagues, placed his hand on Fairlamb to push him aside. Fairlamb could be heard on video saying, “Don’t touch me, brother,” before pushing the officer so hard he ran into others in the crowd, prosecutors said.
The officer can then be seen raising his arm defensively as Fairlamb punches him on the front of his helmet.
In a filing opposing his release, prosecutors wrote that “His actions show a blind capacity and willingness to break the law, commit acts of disorder and violence, and harm others, including the forces of order in uniform “.
Prosecutors said Fairlamb also breached the Capitol building on January 6 and encountered seconds after encountering fleeing senators, entering the building just eight seconds after Officer Eugene Goodman.Senator Mitt Romney away from nearby crowds.
According to prosecutors’ court documents, Fairlamb could be seen earlier in the day climbing on scaffolding outside the building and shouting, “We’re not leaving either.”
He was later filmed picking up a collapsible baton near the skirmish line with the police on the Capitol’s west terrace. In a video posted to his own Facebook account, prosecutors said Fairlamb could be seen carrying the baton and saying, “What are the Patriots doing? We disarm them, then we storm the Capitol.”
Soon after, prosecutors said, Fairlamb entered the Capitol building with a stick in hand and left the building coughing after chemicals were triggered inside.
On January 6, prosecutors said Fairlamb posted on Facebook: âHow far are you willing to go to defend our Constitution? I made the trip solo, seeking to meet my fellow patriots who share the same beliefs. Shut up or shut up.
When they opposed his provisional release in March, prosecutors said Fairlamb had “violent impulses” and competed as a mixed martial arts fighter. They also argued that he had shown contempt for the law, noting that he opened his gym in May 2020 in defiance of the New Jersey governor’s stay-at-home orders.
His social media accounts also show that he endorsed the QAnon conspiracy theory, prosecutors said, and an informant shared a post from Fairlamb’s Instagram account that included threats against MP Cori Bush.
In her post, prosecutors said Fairlamb wrote: “@coribush you are full of bullshit, you should light your ass” and includes images of other violent posts, including: “I wish someone put one knee on your neck to spread lies âandâ When they fund, they [sic] police, you retaliate. “
In a recentWith CBSN, Bush explained her stance on “police funding” while also defending her spending on private security, saying she frequently received death threats.
Fairlamb’s defense attorney said his brother was a federal law enforcement agent in the United States Secret Service. Fairlamb’s lawyer said in April that Fairlamb had not been in contact with his brother, in an effort to ensure the integrity of all parties and “to alleviate any pressure of unease his arrest has caused to his brother”.