Former Proud Boys member Pezzola gets 10-year sentence

September 1, 2023

Former Proud Boys member Dominic Pezzola was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Friday for his role in the deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.

The Department of Justice on August 17 requested a 20-year sentence for Pezzola.

Unlike his fellow former Proud Boys—Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, Ethan Nordean, Zachary Rehl, and Joe Biggs—45-year-old Pezzola was found not guilty of seditious conspiracy, though he was convicted of other serious crimes. Among them: assaulting police, robbing police of personal property (he had stolen a police officer’s shield amid the January 6 riot), and destruction of government property. 

Pezzola enabled the first breach of the U.S. Capitol by smashing open a window.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly sentenced Biggs to 17 years in prison despite the DOJ asking for a 33-year sentence for his crimes. He sentenced Rehl to 15 years on despite the DOJ’s request for 30 years for him.

DOJ asked also for a 33-year sentence for former Proud Boys chair Tarrio and 27 years for Nordean.

Tarrio and Nordean were scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday, but Judge Kelly had to postpone their hearings after calling out sick.  Tarrio now scheduled for sentencing on Tuesday while Nordean’s sentencing is also scheduled for Friday.

The verdicts and sentencing come after a months-long trial related to the Proud Boys’ actions amid January 6 and the rioters’ attempt to prevent Congress from certifying President Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.

In their closing arguments on April 24, the prosecution had argued that the defendants stirred fellow Proud Boys toward violence in the lead-up to January 6 and directed them that day to attack the U.S. Capitol building.

“These defendants saw themselves as Donald Trump’s army, fighting to keep their leader in power no matter what the law or the courts had to say about it,” said DOJ Attorney Conor Mulroe.

At least 1,125 people have been charged related to the deadly January 6 assault. 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.

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