March 22 (UPI) — A Virginia man has been sentenced to more than four years in prison after being found guilty of stealing a baton from police, which he then used to beat law enforcement during an attack on Congress on January 6, 2021. prosecutors said.
Jeffrey William Sills, 31, of Mechanicsville, Virginia, was sentenced Tuesday to 53 months in prison, the Justice Department said. statementadding that he was also ordered to pay restitution of $2,000 and serve 36 months under supervision.
He was arrested and charged in June 2021, and was found guilty in a D.C. courtroom in August of obstructing a formal hearing and assault, resisting or obstructing officers with a dangerous weapon, and robbery.
Prosecutors said Sills was among a mob of supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump who attacked the Capital Building on January 6, 2021 to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States.
court documents Sills, wearing a black “Make America Great Again” hat, a pair of black glasses and a black gas mask, is said to have traveled to the Capitol on the subway, and at 2:13 p.m., joined those on the Capitol’s west front.
When rioters on the Western Front broke through law enforcement lines, prosecutors said Sills was among them, throwing pole-like objects at retreating police and documenting the clash on Instagram.
At 2:40 p.m., Sills followed the retreating officers from the Western Front to the Lower Western Terrance and into the tunnel that led from the inaugural platform to the entrance to the Capitol.
In the tunnel, Sills was among a group of rioters who fought the police defending the entrance to the Capitol, and in the course of the struggle wrested a police baton from an officer identified in court documents only by the initials CW.
“As Defendant Sills emerged from the tunnel into the sea of rioters, Defendant Sills raised his baton over his head in what appeared to be an attempt to signal and energize the crowd,” the factual statement reads.
A few minutes later, Sills re-entered the tunnel and turned a flashing strobe light on the police, then used the outstretched baton to beat the officers repeatedly for over five minutes.
One officer, identified in court documents by the initials V.B., sustained multiple bruises and recalled that Sills hit him on the head.
The CW officer also said he was attacked by a rioter with a club during the siege and suffered a “visible head injury,” court documents say.
Sills left the area around 3:00 pm and deleted his Instagram account the next day.
On the day of his arrest, officers searched his home and found, among other things, a black lantern with a strobe light and a gas mask, a black baton similar to the one stolen from a CW officer during the assault on the Capitol.
Sills was initially charged with eight other defendants, five of whom have been convicted and three are awaiting trial.
Authorities arrested more than 1,000 people in the aftermath of the attack, including more than 320 who, like Sills, were charged with assaulting or obstructing law enforcement.