Proud Boys' Ethan Nordean Gets 18 Years in Prison for Jan 6 Protest, Judge Applies 'Terrorism Enhancement' for Pushing Over Fence

Chris Menahan
Sep. 01, 2023

Proud Boys member Ethan Nordean, aka "Rufio Panman," was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Friday for aiding in the storming of the Capitol building on Jan 6.

Judge Tim Kelly applied a terrorism enhancement against Nordean to extend his sentence because he allegedly helped push over a small fence on Capitol grounds.

His lawyers argued that pushing over a fence should not constitute terrorism but Kelly disagreed.

From the AP, "Proud Boy convicted of helping spearhead Capitol attack ties Jan. 6 sentence record with 18 years":
[Ethan Nordean] was one of two Proud Boys sentenced Friday. Dominic Pezzola was convicted of smashing a window at the U.S. Capitol in the building's first breach on Jan. 6, 2021. He defiantly raised a fist and declared "Trump won!" as he walked out of the courtroom after being sentenced to 10 years in prison, also among the longest sentences in the Jan. 6 attack.

The 18-year record for a Jan. 6 sentence was set by Stewart Rhodes, founder of another far-right extremist group the Oath Keepers. Members of both groups were convicted separately of seditious conspiracy, a rarely brought Civil War-era offense.

The highest ranking Proud Boy convicted after a monthslong trial earlier this year, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio, is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday.

Prosecutors said Nordean's words and online posting grew increasingly violent leading up to Jan. 6. On that day, he led a group of nearly 200 men toward the Capitol, then moved to the front of the mob and helped tear down a fence, allowing rioters to pour onto the grounds and confront police, according to court documents. Prosecutors had asked for a 27-year sentence.

Defense attorneys have argued there was no plan to storm the Capitol that day and pushed back against the idea that Nordean tore down the fence or that his rhetoric was specifically about Jan. 6. They asked for less than two years.

[...] The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump appointee who also sentenced Pezzola earlier in the day and applied a terrorism enhancement in both cases.

Pezzola, 46, took a police officer's riot shield and used it to smash the window, allowing rioters to make the first breach into the Capitol, and he later filmed a "celebratory video" with a cigar inside, prosecutors said. He was a recent Proud Boys recruit, however, and a jury acquitted him of seditious conspiracy. He was convicted of other serious charges and prosecutors had asked for 20 years in prison.
As I reported yesterday, Joe Biggs, who got 17 years in prison, was similarly accused of fence-pushing terrorism.

Judge Kelly, who appears to have seen the widespread conservative criticism of his draconian sentences, reportedly defended throwing the book at J6ers and treating BLM rioters with kid gloves on Friday by claiming the J6 cases have a unique "constitutional element" to them.

If you shove over a fence outside the Capitol to protest a stolen election that's "terrorism" but if you burn down a building in Minneapolis to protest the hoax of systemic racism that's just "property which can be rebuilt."

The unequal justice being meted out to J6ers violates the Equal Protection Clause and should trigger a constitutional crisis.

[Header image by Elvert Barnes Photography, CC BY-SA 2.0]

Follow InformationLiberation on Twitter, Facebook, Gab, Minds and Telegram.

All original InformationLiberation articles CC 4.0

About - Privacy Policy