When a mom took her 14-year-old son to the riot at the US Capitol, she was sent to jail. As a non-violent misdemeanor, the 90-day sentence is one of the longer prison terms January 6 defendants have been given for this crime. Before handing down the sentence, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly chastised Virginia Spencer for taking her child to court. She also wondered if she had taken responsibility for her role in the insurrection.
The trip “isn’t like going to school or going on a trip for tourists,” Kollar-Kotelly told the group.
Some other federal judges haven’t combined jail time with three years of probation for misdemeanor offenders. This is the first time a judge has done this.
It says in court documents that when Spencer went into Nancy Pelosi’s office, she was wearing a sweatshirt that said “Gun Control.” He also went into a crowd outside the House of Representatives chamber and tried to get into it while the lawmakers were still inside, the court documents say.
Spencer, who agreed to plead guilty in September, told Kollar-Kotelly that she was “very sorry” for what she did that day. He hasn’t been charged with many crimes that came up because of the riot at the US Capitol. Her husband, Christopher Spencer, has said “not guilty.” When his case goes to trial or if a plea deal is reached before that, People in the government didn’t say who the 14-year-old was.
Before she gave her sentence, Kollar-Kotelly said it was hard to understand why you would bring your 14-year-old son to the US Capitol. She said it showed a “lack of judgment.”
The judge said that “law enforcement had weapons, and some of the [rioters] had weapons.” This isn’t a school or a trip for tourists. He might have been traumatized by the experience, Kollar-Kotelly said. “I don’t know, but I really hope he’s OK,”
As of now, the FBI says that more than 725 people have been arrested in connection with the Capitol breach. Over 70 have been sentenced, and more than 30 have been jailed.