Capitol rioter breaks down crying in court — gets hit with 68-month prison sentence
Capitol rioters (Photo by Saul Loeb for AFP)

A Marine Corps veteran who participated in the January 6 insurrection just received 68 months in prison — one of the longest sentences of anyone involved in the attack to date — shortly after giving a tearful speech to the judge trying to beg for leniency, according to POLITICO on Wednesday.

"Daniel Caldwell, a 51-year-old Marine Corps veteran, delivered a tearful apology in court to the officers he sprayed, expressing remorse for his actions that day and pleading with U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly for mercy," reported Kyle Cheney. "But Kollar-Kotelly repeatedly described Caldwell as an 'insurrectionist' and noted that his deployment of chemical spray at officers created such an intense cloud that it nearly broke the depleted police line by itself. Though no officers directly attributed their injuries that day to Caldwell’s actions, Kollar-Kotelly said his actions undoubtedly contributed to their physical and psychological trauma."

“You’re entitled to your political views but not to an insurrection,” said Kollar Kotelly as she handed down the sentence. “You were an insurrectionist.”

“I must face my actions head on,” said Caldwell tearfully, in his speech. “I hope that you and our country never have to face another day like January 6th.”

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Caldwell, a resident of The Colony, Texas, was caught on video using a chemical spray on more than a dozen police officers at the Capitol, making some violently sick and causing at least one to "vomit uncontrollably." "The air was so thick with chemicals that it wasn’t clear whether the officers he hit were injured by him directly or by a combination of factors," noted POLITICO.

Almost a thousand people have been charged, convicted, or accepted plea deals in connection with the January 6 attack — the largest-scale criminal prosecution ever to take place in U.S. history. The charges range from misdemeanor picketing and trespass to assault on police officers, as well as seditious conspiracy charges against ringleaders of the far-right groups the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.