A former North Carolina police officer joined the Oath Keepers just days before the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. On Monday, she was sentenced for her involvement, reportedThe Charlotte Observer.
This comes as part of a group conviction of several members of the far-right group.
"Laura Steele of Thomasville was among a group of Oath Keepers who used a military 'stack' formation to storm up the Capitol steps and into the congressional building on Jan. 6, 2021, photographs in court filings show," reported Michael Gordon. "On Monday, a Washington, D.C., jury convicted Steele and three co-defendants of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, a federal crime that carries up to 20 years in prison, multiple media outlets reported. Steele, along with Sandra Parker, Connie Meggs and William Isaacs, was also found guilty of a host of lesser charges, including destruction of government property and conspiracy to prevent members of Congress from discharging their duties by certifying the results of the 2020 election."
"The verdict is the government’s latest blow against the Oath Keepers, a right-wing militia group with strong N.C. ties that is accused of taking a leading role in planning and executing the Capitol attack," said the report. "The unprecedented violence, which was unleashed by a mob of Donald Trump supporters enraged by the former president’s baseless claims of a stolen election, has been tied to five deaths and injuries to some 140 police officers. More than 1,000 arrests have been made in the two-year investigation of the riot. Steele is one of least 28 North Carolina defendants, several with police and military ties."
Steele, the report noted, was a "late addition to the cause" who only applied to join the militia group "days" before the attack took place.
The Oath Keepers convicted on Monday immediately asked for a mistrial, only for the judge to deny the motion as the trial descended into pandemonium over revelations that some jurors had access to footage that hadn't been allowed in as evidence.
This comes after Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes and five of his associates were found guilty of seditious conspiracy.
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