An Indiana woman dodged a prison term for participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot at a federal sentencing hearing on Wednesday, the first punishment handed out by a judge related to the uprising.
Anna Morgan Lloyd, 49, was sentenced to three years of probation by a federal judge Wednesday. She was also ordered to perform 120 hours of community service and pay $500 in restitution after pleading guilty to a single misdemeanor of unlawfully entering the Capitol.
After partaking in the riot, Lloyd wrote on Facebook that Jan 6. was the “best day ever.”
In court, an tearful Lloyd apologized to the judge and her family, claiming she went to Washington to peacefully show support for former President Trump’s false claims of election fraud.
“I’m ashamed that it became a savage display of violence that day. And I would have never been there if I had a clue it was going to turn out that way,” Lloyd said in court.
“It was never my intent to be a part of anything that’s so disgraceful to our American people.”
Prosecutors noted Lloyd did not engage in violence or destruction in the Capitol, and wasn’t involved in coordinating the breach. Lloyd rode with her hairdresser to DC to hear Trump speak, her attorney claimed.
US District Court Judge Royce Lamberth said he gave Lloyd a “break,” but said probation would not be the norm for the more than 500 other rioters facing federal charges.
“Legally, I could give you the six months, but is that really what we want our judiciary to do?” Lamberth asked Lloyd, while explaining he struggled with handing down her sentence.
“This wasn’t a peaceful demonstration the way it turned out. It was not an accident,” he said. “It was intended to and brought a halt to the very functioning of our government.”
The judge also used his platform to say he was “especially troubled” by GOP lawmakers who have downplayed the incident.
“I don’t know what planet they were on, but there were millions of people in this country that saw what happened on Jan. 6 and that saw what you saw and what you just described: a disgrace to our country,” Lamberth said.
Lloyd, a registered Democrat, said she and her husband began supporting Trump in 2016 because “he was standing up for what we believe in.”
In a letter to the judge, Lloyd noted that she’s been watching movies like “Schindler’s List” and reading books like Bryan Stevenson’s “Just Mercy,” to educate herself about oppression.
“I’ve lived a sheltered life and truly haven’t experienced life the way many have,” Lloyd wrote. “I’ve learned that even though we live in a wonderful country things still need to improve. People of all colors should feel as safe as I do to walk down the street.”
In another development in the massive federal investigation, a member of the Oath Keepers pleaded guilty to two counts: conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding.
Graydon Young’s Wednesday admission was the first guilty plea in the major conspiracy case against the far-right militia group, which is accused of conspiring to block Congress from certifying President Biden’s election victory. Fifteen other Oath Keepers are charged.
Young, 55, of Florida could face 20 years behind bars, but a judge said a sentence of between 5 1/4 years and 6 1/2 years would be more appropriate under federal guidelines.
Another Oath Keepers member, Jon Ryan Schaffer, pleaded guilty in connection with the riot, but was not charged with conspiracy.
Four other defendants — a Tennessee man, a Maryland man and a Virginia couple — pleaded guilty to unlawfully entering the Capitol in the past two weeks.
A lawyer for Jessica Bustle, of Virginia, said she and her husband are “good, decent, hardworking people,” who were urged to come to Washington by “very powerful people and groups.”
“They are not criminals or insurrectionists or rioters. They were not looking to break laws when they came to DC on the 6th. They violated minor laws on the 6th and they have accepted responsibility and accountability for doing so,” Nabeel Kibria wrote in an email to the court.
With Post wires