A man from Pensacola, Florida, convicted on a felony charge related to storming the Capitol on January 6, offered up a litany of conspiracy theories at his sentencing hearing — and was shortly put in his place by D.C. District Judge Trevor McFadden, BoingBoing reported this week.
"Tristan Chandler Stevens, of Florida, was convicted of felony assault on Capitol police officers during the January 6th riot," reported Jason Weisberger. "At his sentencing hearing, Stevens offered the judge a laundry list of conspiracies to excuse his violent behavior. The judge told him this line of argument was ridiculous. Stevens has been sentenced to five years."
Stevens was convicted of beating U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell with a stolen riot shield, along with assisting in the assault of several other officers, according to WUSA9.
Among other things, Stevens claimed at his sentencing hearing that National Institutes of Health official Dr. Anthony Fauci deployed a "bioweapon" against America; that there was a shadow government installed by China controlling the country; and that January 6 was an "entrapment operation" to trick patriots like himself into committing acts of violence as a plot to cover up widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
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McFadden, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, was having none of it. "It's ridiculous to suggest there was some kind of entrapment that caused you to do what you did," he said. "You battled those officers. You chose to do what you did."
Over 1,000 people have been charged, convicted, or accepted plea deals in connection with the January 6 attack — the largest criminal prosecution for a single event in the history of the United States. Many of these cases were misdemeanors for things like unlawful picketing and trespassing, but several, like Stevens, were convicted of assaulting law enforcement. Members of the far-right groups the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers have also been prosecuted for or convicted of seditious conspiracy.