The California man who fatally shot a police officer in the neck during the Jan. 6 Capitol riots was sentenced Wednesday to more than 12 years in prison.
Daniel ‘DJ’ Rodriguez shouted ‘Trump won!’ He was escorted out of court after US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced him to 12 years and seven months in prison.
Jackson said Rodriguez, 40, was ‘hateful, attacking police and vandalizing property’ in the US Capitol.
Jackson said, ‘You showed up in (Washington) D.C. spoiling for a fight. ‘Once you get there you have no one to blame but yourself.’
Daniel ‘DJ’ Rodriguez, 40, said he was willing to fight and die for the United States on January 6. He has now been jailed for over 12 years for his role in the riots.
Rodriguez was among nearly 1,000 people charged for their role in the riots.
Two other Capitol riot defendants received lengthy prison terms after hundreds were sentenced in connection with the Jan. 6 case.
Metropolitan police officer Michael Fanone was shown on his own body camera footage screaming in agony after Rodriguez shocked him with a stun gun while the officer was surrounded by a crowd.
A different rioter dragged the officer into the crowd on the Capitol’s Lower West Terrace, where a line of policemen guarded an entrance to the building.
Other rioters began beating Fanon, who eventually lost consciousness and suffered a heart attack after Rodriguez pressed a stun gun to his neck and repeatedly hit him.
Before the sentencing, Fanone — who has written a book and attended several interviews and congressional hearings about Jan. 6 — addressed the judge.
The now-retired law enforcement officer described how his experience at the Capitol prematurely ended his policing career and made him a target of the MAGA movement.
“I don’t care about Daniel Rodriguez,” Fanon said, according to the Washington Post. ‘I stopped thinking of him as a man long ago.’ Fanon said he focused on the leader who convinced Rodriguez and his friends that the 2020 election was stolen and should be taken back by force.
Fanone was not in the courtroom for the duration of Rodriguez’s statement to the judge. The defendant has already served more than two years in prison and will be given credit for time served.
‘I am hopeful that Michael Fanone will one day recover. He looks like he’s in a lot of pain,’ said Rodriguez.
‘It wouldn’t have made any difference what he could have said to me today,’ Fanone said later.
Former officer Michael Fanone was repeatedly grilled by Rodriguez and spoke during his sentencing hearing
Prosecutors recommended a 14-year prison sentence for Rodriguez, who pleaded guilty in February to assaulting the officer.
They also sought nearly $100,000 in fines to cover Fanone’s medical bills and medical leave costs.
‘Rodriguez’s criminal behavior on January 6 was the epitome of disrespect for the law; He battled law enforcement at the US Capitol for hours, nearly costing one officer his life, to stop official proceedings taking place inside,’ prosecutors wrote in a filing.
Rodriguez pleaded guilty to four felony charges, including conspiracy and assaulting a law enforcement officer with a deadly or dangerous weapon. The plea was entered about two weeks before his Washington, D.C., trial began.
According to prosecutors, during the Jan. 6 riot, Rodriguez used a fire extinguisher on law enforcement officers and pushed a wooden pole into police lines before another member of the crowd pointed at him with what appeared to be a stun gun.
Fanon went on to write a book about his experience in the Capitol. He made a statement to the judge before Rodriguez was sentenced
Rodriguez (center) pleaded guilty in February, about two weeks before his trial was set to begin
During an interview with FBI agents after his arrest, Rodriguez said he believed he was doing the ‘right thing’ on January 6 and was prepared to die ‘to save the country’.
He cried as he spoke to the agents, telling them he was ‘stupid’ and ashamed of his behaviour.
‘Mr. Rodriguez believed Trump blindly and admired Trump so much that she referred to him as ‘Dad’ in her social media chats as late as January 6,’ Rodriguez’s defense attorneys explained.
More than 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. More than 700 of them were found guilty or convicted, about 550 of them were sentenced. Some received terms as short as seven days or as long as 18 years.
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