The far-right Pennsylvania woman who broke into Nancy Pelosi's office on Jan. 6 and helped steal the former Speaker's gavel and laptop was sentenced to three years in prison today.
Prosecutors said Riley June Williams, who was 22 at the time, "led an army" of rioters through the Capitol and "acted as an accelerant, exacerbating the mayhem. Where others turned back, she pushed forward," according to AP News.
Before the insurrection, Williams had been "obsessed" with white nationalist Nick Fuentes — whose conference Marjorie Taylor Greene spoke at last year — and was "fixated" on Donald Trump's lie that the election was stolen, a falsehood that Fuentes helped push, according to prosecutors.
While prosecutors pushed for a prison term of seven years and three months, defense lawyers asked for just one year and one day.
From AP News:
A federal jury convicted Williams in November of six charges, including a felony count of civil disorder, after a two-week trial. But it deadlocked on two other counts, including "aiding and abetting" the laptop's theft.
Jurors also deadlocked on a charge of obstructing an official proceeding, the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress for certifying President Joe Biden's 2020 electoral victory. Then-Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress evacuated the House and Senate chambers when rioters attacked the Capitol. …
Jackson also sentenced Williams to three years of supervised release after her prison term and ordered her to pay $2,000 in restitution, according to the U.S. attorney's office for the District of Columbia. …
Williams used men wearing helmets and body armor like a "human battering ram," pushing them forward to break through police lines inside the Capitol, prosecutors said. Entering Pelosi's main conference room, she stole a gavel and encouraged another rioter to take a laptop from atop a table, according to prosecutors. …
Williams bragged online that she stole Pelosi's gavel, laptop and hard drives and that she "gave the electronic devices, or attempted to give them, to unspecified Russian individuals," prosecutors said in a June 2022 court filing.
Williams' young age makes her case especially unfortunate.
"In some respects, she is starkly different from the average January 6th defendant – particularly given her youth and that she is a female," the defense 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."
Before the sentencing, she said she was embarrassed by what a "young and stupid girl" she acted like in 2021, according to WGAL, and that she has since become a "responsible woman."