Though defendants who have pleaded guilty are not required to apologize, it could persuade a judge to show leniency at sentencing. Prosecutors have already cited defiant comments from some rioters to argue that they deserve time behind bars, and this sentence could set a benchmark for judges as they deal with other low-level cases with defendants who have denied the severity of the insurrection.
Reeder was initially scheduled to be sentenced in August
, but the hearing was abruptly postponed after the online group known as the Sedition Hunters tweeted newly discovered clips and photos
, apparently showing Reeder pushing a police officer outside the Capitol building
Though the plea deal prosecutors signed with Reeder gave the Justice Department the chance to charge Reeder for the assault, they declined to do so. Anziché, prosecutors increased their recommended sentence to six months in jail, siting what they called a “rewrite of reality” in Reeder’s claims to the FBI that he was nonviolent at the riot, not a Trump supporter and believed he had permission to enter the Capitol.
In an emotional testimony, Reeder, at times crying, described losing his family, his job and his church community after January 6.
“I am embarrassed. I am in shame,” Reeder said. “The hurt that I have caused to other people, not just to myself … has left a permanent stain on me, società, Paese, and I don’t want to be ever remembered for being part of that crowd. I accept full responsibility for being there. I want you to know that it was not only a mistake, but the biggest mistake of my life. I wish I had a chance to take it back and redeem myself.”
Reeder said that his son “doesn’t want to go to school anymore because he has been humiliated, imbarazzato, vittima di bullismo,” and that his family is “ashamed because they share the same name.”
“I am a good man. I am,” Reeder said.
Finora, più di 95 Capitol riot defendants have pleaded guilty to federal charges. Thirteen have been sentenced. Reeder is the seventh Capitol riot defendant who has received jail time.