Jan. 6 rioter who filmed Ashli Babbitt shooting sentenced to 6 years in prison

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A Utah man in a ballistic vest and gas mask, who filmed the fatal shooting of Ashli Babbit, was sentenced to six years in prison Friday for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, according to the Justice Department.

John Earle Sullivan, 29, was found guilty of obstructing an official proceeding, including possession of a dangerous weapon on Capitol grounds on Nov. 16, 2023. On top of the prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth also sentenced him to 36 months of supervised release and ordered him to pay $2,000 in restitution.

“According to court documents, in the days and weeks leading to the events of Jan. 6, 2021, Sullivan used various digital platforms and personas to present himself as an activist; however, on these platforms, Sullivan made his true objectives clear: to cause pure chaos and disruption to the status quo,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said in a press release.

Sullivan arrived in the Capitol area on Jan. 6 with a ballistic vest, gas mask and a bull horn. He encouraged other rioters by saying into the megaphone: “Get in that sh–” and “Storm that sh–.” He said he would continue filming “as a good ploy” so he would not get arrested for entering the building, per prosecutors.

Once inside the Capitol, he told law enforcement to stand down so they would not get hurt. He also joined a crowed outside the House of Representatives where he told other rioters that he had a knife. In the Speaker’s Lobby, he encouraged others to break the windows, the release said.

After the windows were broken, Babbitt climbed through and was shot.

Sullivan was arrested in Salt Lake City on Jan. 14, 2021. He was paid more than $90,000 for his riot videos before he was convicted, The Washington Post reported.

Since the attack on the Capitol, more than 1,385 people have been charged in nearly all 50 states for their crimes related to the insurrection, the release said.

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