GRAND RAPIDS, MI — A 22-year-old woman who live-streamed the 2020 Grand Rapids Riot, encouraging others to cause havoc and loot, has been sentenced to probation and jail time.
Alexandria “Ally” Lyons was sentenced Thursday, January 13, for inciting a riot.
Kent County Circuit Judge Curt Benson sentenced her to three years probation and time served in prison. She had previously spent 56 days in prison.
Related: Woman who police say incited Grand Rapids riot on her own Facebook Live video takes plea deal
Benson felt he didn’t want to give additional jail time because it might interfere with a drug addiction program that Lyons has been running so far.
He said he had a hard time giving more jail time.
“You’re not the first rioter I’ve had, but frankly you’re the worst in terms of guilt. Stream live the havoc you and your friends and strangers have wreaked on this city. It was a very traumatic day for the city of Grand Rapids and people need to be held to account,” he said.
“I try to balance the best interests of society with what’s best for you,” Benson said.
On the night of the May 31, 2020 riot, police said Lyons was with a large group of people downtown when she posted a Facebook Live video in which she allegedly encouraged her friends and others to break up windows, breaking into an ATM and stealing jewellery. .
Police also said they have video of her allegedly kicking and smashing a window at 82 Ionia Ave. NW, a county building that houses the Kent County Attorney’s Office and others.
Related: Young woman incited riot on her own Facebook Live video, police say
After the riot, she posted video of a party at her house that featured stolen clothes from a downtown clothing store, police said. When officers went to her home, they reportedly found a shirt from that store.
She and her friends were also suspected of having beers at Mojo’s Dueling piano bar and restaurant after encouraging others to break windows, police said.
The 2020 riot, which occurred from late May 30 through the early morning hours of May 31, caused an estimated $2.1 million in damage to downtown buildings and structures.
As part of her sentence, she was placed on three years probation and must pay $500 in restitution.
The restitution, according to an earlier plea agreement, was for shattered windows at Mojo’s Dueling Piano Bar and Restaurant.
Lyons, in a brief statement at sentencing, said she thought she would be a good candidate for probation.
“I’ve been sober and working full time,” she said.
Benson, when sentencing Lyon, said he had reservations about the probationary sentence, but said he “put a lot of faith” in Lyon.
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