The Pennsylvania woman who helped facilitate the theft of Nancy Pelosi’s laptop during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, has been handed a lengthy prison sentence this Thursday, the Associated Press reported.
Riley June Williams, 23, was charged but not convicted of helping steal a laptop from Pelosi’s office suite. A federal jury convicted Williams in November of six charges, including a felony count of civil disorder, but deadlocked on two other counts, including “aiding and abetting” the laptop’s theft. On Thursday, she was sentenced to three years in prison on the charges she was convicted of.
In a court filing, prosecutors wrote that everywhere she went, Williams “acted as an accelerant, exacerbating the mayhem. Where others turned back, she pushed forward.
Prosecutors say Williams entered Pelosi’s main conference room and stole a gavel and encouraged another rioter to take a laptop that was sitting on a table.
“As the other rioter later manipulated the laptop and its cords, Williams filmed the theft that she had just commanded and encouraged, and further instructed the rioter, ‘Dude, put on gloves!” Prosecutors say.
Her defense lawyers tried to get a sentence of only one year, citing her age and lack of a criminal record.
“In some respects, she is starkly different from the average January 6th defendant – particularly given her youth and that she is a female,” her defense lawyers wrote. “In other ways she is similar to many of other January 6th defendants with no prior criminal record, that were caught up with the mob that day, acting on impulse and without thought to the consequences of their actions.”
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson also ordered her to serve three years of supervised release after she gets out of prison and ordered her to pay $2,000 in restitution.
From the AP’s report: Williams was an ardent supporter of the white nationalist “Groyper” movement led by internet personality Nick Fuentes, according to prosecutors. They said Williams was “obsessed” with Fuentes and fixated on baseless claims — amplified by Fuentes — that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump. Williams’ attorneys argued that her political beliefs shouldn’t be a factor in her sentencing. They said the First Amendment protects her interest in Fuentes and his “Groyper Army” of followers.
Read the full report over at the Associated Press.
[The headline of this article has been updated to more accurately reflect the facts of this story.]