Arizona Man Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison for Capitol Riot Felony Charges on Jan. 6

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Jacob Zerkle, a 51-year-old Arizona man, has been sentenced to 24 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release for his role in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

The sentencing, which occurred on February 22, 2024, involved two felony charges related to the disruption of a joint session of Congress tasked with counting electoral votes.

Zerkle had pleaded guilty to charges of civil disorder and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers on October 30, 2023. According to court documents, Zerkle travelled from Arizona to Washington, D.C., with his brother to participate in the protest against “election integrity” on the day of the Capitol breach.

While at the National Mall, Zerkle joined a vocal group of around 75 to 100 individuals, including prominent figures like Proud Boys leaders.

The group marched from the Ellipse area near the White House to the U.S. Capitol, chanting slogans related to the then-ongoing “Stop the Steal” rally led by former President Trump.

Zerkle and the group circled the north side of the Capitol, eventually entering the restricted area of the Capitol grounds. Between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m., Zerkle joined other rioters in chanting, “Hang ’em high” toward the Capitol building.

Later, around 2:00 p.m., he assaulted a group of Metropolitan Police Department officers who were attempting to assist and reinforce U.S. Capitol Police in response to the growing crowd.

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Zerkle, along with other rioters, physically engaged with the officers, intentionally making contact and delaying their response to the Capitol. This conduct led to his arrest on March 15, 2022, in Arizona.

The sentencing reflects ongoing efforts to address the events of January 6, 2021, with over 1,300 individuals charged in connection to the Capitol breach across nearly all 50 states. Investigations into the incident continue, emphasizing the legal consequences for those involved in disrupting the democratic process.

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