Daniel Rodriguez, the rioter who attacked Washington Police Officer Michael Fanone with a stun gun to his neck during the January 6, 2021 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison Wednesday.
Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson handed down the sentence. Prosecutors had sought 14 years in federal prison for Rodriguez.
The 38-year-old had pleaded guilty in February, admitting that he’d fought with law enforcement officers on the steps of the U.S. Capitol amid the mob’s violent attempt to prevent Congress in its Constitutional duty to certify President Biden’s 2020 electoral college victory over then-President Trump.
In a sentencing memo, prosecutors earlier this month called Rodriguez’s actions on January 6 an act of terrorism that deserve an upward departure from the sentencing guidelines.
Rodriguez’s attorneys wrote in a separate sentencing memo that their client “struggled to find a place where he felt he truly belonged” and “found a cause that gave his life meaning” when he joined the “Make America Great Again” movement in California.
Rodriguez, they said, referred to then-President Trump as “Dad,” seeing him as the “the father figure and leader Mr. Rodriguez never had in his life.”
During an FBI interview Rodriguez referred to himself as a “f—ing piece of s–t.”
In a letter to Fanone he wrote, “I want to apologize to your children as well. If I could go back and change what I did, I would. I hope it makes you feel better that I am going through a very tough time in jail.”
Fanone has called Rodriguez a “moron” who was “manipulated” by Trump.
At Wednesday’s hearing Fanon said he doesn’t “give a s–t about Daniel Rodriguez.”
“He ceased to exist to me as a person a long time ago,” the retired officer went on. “Any compassion or empathy I felt toward those who laid siege to our Capitol, whose actions I felt were at least in part influenced by their leader Donald Trump and his lies, has been eroded—eroded by the attacks directed at me and my family by supporters of Donald Trump and the right-wing media.”
During sentencing Judge Jackson said Rodiguez had been a “one-man army of hate, attacking police officers and destroying property” on January 6.
According to the Justice Department, more than 1,033 suspects have been arrested in nearly all 50 states and the District of Columbia related to the assault on the U.S. Capitol. A reported more than 500 of them have been sentenced, with more than half receiving prison terms ranging from a week to over 14 years.
Four people died during the insurrection, and five police officers died of various causes following the attack.