January 6 Capitol Window Smasher Hunter Ehmke Receives Jail Time

Hunter Ehmke is seen kicking and punching a Capitol rotunda window on Jan. 6 (photos via FBI court filing).

A California student who was seen smashing a window in the United States Capitol on January 6 has been sentenced to four months behind bars for destroying government property.

Hunter Allen Ehmke21, pleaded guilty in January to criminal destruction of government property after he was caught smashing a Capitol rotunda window on January 6, when dozens of donald trump partisans invaded the building and forced their way inside.

As an increasingly violent crowd clashed with police trying to protect the rotunda, Ehmke scaled an unguarded window sill and began kicking and punching the glass. The police spotted him and quickly put him down, briefly detained him and took his identity card.

Prosecutors say Ehmke’s actions made the Capitol building more vulnerable than it already was, causing officers to move out of the line holding back the crowd in order to apprehend him. According to the government’s sentencing memorandum, the nearby crowd became “increasingly aggressive” towards the officers who had detained Ehmke, with one man allegedly shouting that they were not going to let the officers leave with Ehmke, who was in that moment handcuffed.

As a result, officers told Ehmke to leave the Capitol grounds immediately—which he did—and that a warrant would be issued for his arrest.

Ehmke was not among the rioters who entered the building.

The property destruction charge carried a potential sentence of 10 years in prison, three years probation and a fine of up to $250,000. Prosecutors had requested a four-month sentence behind bars and three years of probation, while Ehmke had requested only probation.

“He was a leader.”

At Friday’s sentencing hearing before the U.S. District Judge Tanya ChutkanEhmke’s mother, Lisa Ehmkemade an emotional appeal on behalf of his son, saying his actions that day were due to a previously undiagnosed medical condition.

“[After] every night i struggled with why and how he was at the capitol we finally figured it out [it] get out there and get him into treatment and therapy with the right diagnosis,” Lisa said. “These are nothing less than answered prayers.”

Lisa Ehmke said she was afraid of what a ‘setback’ – in the form of a prison sentence – would bring to him and his efforts to turn his life around, including taking a full course load at a community college, working for the family business, and volunteering at a local food pantry.

She also said her son didn’t seem to understand what was going on that day, or his role in the riot that temporarily prevented Congress from certifying. that of Joe Biden 2020 election victory and forces lawmakers to evacuate the building or shelter in place. She said people in the crowd were yelling at Ehmke to “get involved” and “do something” to support the effort to break into the Capitol.

“Hunter told me he didn’t know what was going on at the Capitol that day,” she said. “He hasn’t heard anything about counting votes or certifying elections. He watched and observed the crowd as he always does.

She said that when she watches the video of Ehmke smashing the windows of the Capitol building, she sees “a scared person up there, looking around, not really understanding what’s going on.”

Chutkan, a barack obama named, had a different take.

“I saw the video,” Chutkan said, adding, “I disagree with the characterization of Mr. Ehmke’s defense as a supporter. He wasn’t. He was a leader…in his own way. .

Chutkan, noting that she has two adult children of her own, said she sympathized with Ehmke’s mother, but could not explain her son’s actions.

“Ms. Ehmke’s remarks today were born out of love and an effort to help me better understand her son,” Chutkan said. “But I see this as another effort to isolate and protect Mr. Ehmke of the consequences of his actions. I’m not doing this.

Chutkan had noted that Ehmke’s family “constantly, since childhood, protected [him] consequences and results of his actions: when the school was not functioning, they put him in an alternative school. When high school [wasn’t working out], they let him travel the world and homeschool him. He’s in trouble at the Capitol, he calls his parents and they tell him to come home.

Despite having a loving and supportive family, Chutkan said, Ehmke nonetheless “chose to engage in violent criminal activity.”

“I heard no word of remorse.”

As much as Chutkan responded to Lisa Ehmke’s remarks, she focused on what hadn’t been said.

“One thing struck me in this case,” Chutkan noted. “I heard no word of remorse.”

“I did not see or hear a single letter about the men or women who fought that day,” Judge said. “The officers were afraid that they would never go home to see their children, other injured people. Our government workers sitting inside this building trying to do their job the taxpayers pay them for, terrified of dying or being killed, [or] not seeing their family, listening to the sounds of breaking glass [and] wondering if they would make it out alive. I haven’t heard a word of what it must have been like for the others… not a single word.

In the end, Chutkan handed down a sentence that matched the government’s recommendation: four months in prison followed by three years probation. Per the plea agreement, Ehmke will also have to pay $2,821 in restitution for the estimated $2.7 million damage to the Capitol.

“I know this may not be the outcome you were hoping for,” Chutkan told Ehmke at the end of the hearing. “I know you may be scared and devastated by what awaits you, but let me assure you that you will get through this. You are going to have the rest of your life to continue on the path you are on. You are young, you have a loving family, you have resources at your disposal.

“You’re not the worst thing you’ve ever done,” Chutkan added.

Chutkan said she would allow Ehmke to surrender after completing his university classes, which were due to end on June 15.

[Images via FBI court filings.]

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Helen L. Cuellar