An armed MAGA man who stormed the Capitol wearing metal-plated body armor and a gas mask was sentenced today to seven years in prison — one of the longest sentences out of hundreds that have been handed down to Jan. 6 insurrectionists so far.
The enraged gentleman from Maryland, 35-year-old Christopher Michael Alberts, kept a loaded 9-millimeter pistol tucked away while using a wooden pallet as a battering ram to assault police officers trying to protect a Capitol stairwell that day. A former member of the Virginia National Guard-turned-tow truck driver, Alberts spent six hours as a rioter at the Capitol and was accused in court of leading the mob.
"Alberts, with his body armor, gas mask, military gear, and rage, rallied and instigated the mob," prosecutors wrote in a court filing.
From AP News:
Alberts was the first rioter to reach the northwest steps outside the Capitol and the first to "go hands on" with a Capitol police officer at that part of the complex, prosecutors said.
During Wednesday's hearing, Capitol Police Officer Stephen Sherman described how helpless he felt when Alberts rammed into him with the wooden pallet as another rioter tried to pull him down the stairs.
"You came to the Capitol that day to start a war and you, in fact, turned that staircase into a war zone," Sherman said.
Alberts attended then-President Donald Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally but left before it ended and headed to the Capitol building, yelling on his way that he was "taking over the Capitol." He repeatedly screamed insults at police officers trying to hold off the mob of Trump supporters, who disrupted the joint session of Congress for certifying President Joe Biden's 2020 electoral victory.
Alberts later urinated on a wall of the Capitol and then joined other rioters in confronting a line of police officers, throwing a bottle at them and using a bullhorn to berate them, according to prosecutors. Around 7:22 p.m., when an officer observed a bulge on Alberts' right hip, police frisked Alberts, seized his loaded firearm and arrested him.
Now that he's going to prison, his Trump-inspired hostility has morphed into self-pitying remorse. "If I had known that day would turn into what it turned into, I would have stayed home," Alberts said.