Florida man receives stiffest sentence yet for a Capitol riot defendant

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A Florida man has received the stiffest criminal sentence of any Jan. 6 Capitol riot defendant so far, getting more than five years in prison. 

Robert Palmer, 54, of Largo was sentenced to 63 months behind bars Friday in D.C. federal court by Judge Tanya Chutkan. The sentence equaled what prosecutors had been recommending.

Palmer admitted during an October court hearing where he pleaded guilty that he was the man photographed throwing a wooden plank at police outside the U.S. Capitol and spraying a fire extinguisher at officers, then throwing the empty device at the line of police.

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    Robert Palmer, 54, of Largo, Fla., seen wearing an American flag jacket, was sentenced to 63 months behind bars Dec. 17, 2021, for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. (Department of Justice)

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      (Department of Justice)

He had admitted wrongdoing and had sent a letter to the court apologizing for his actions. In court Friday, he said he was “ashamed” of his behavior. 

The Justice Department had released images showing Palmer on the Capitol steps, wearing an American flag sweatshirt with former President Donald Trump’s name on it.

Robert Palmer, 54, of Largo, Florida, was sentenced to 63 months behind bars Dec. 17, 2021, for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. 
(Department of Justice)

Palmer was one of several Capitol riot defendants sentenced Friday. 

Those sentenced included Gracyn Courtright, a 23-year-old college student from West Virginia. A different federal judge sentenced her to one month in prison. Courtright also admitted wrongdoing in court after posting photos on social media that showed her at the Capitol just after the riots. 

Prosecutors said Courtright was among those who climbed through a broken window at the Capitol building and later entered the Senate chamber. She is one of about 700 defendants charged so far relating to the riots.

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