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In Jan 6 Case US Wanted Month in Jail for Gruppo But Judge Howell Gave Home Detention For 3 Months

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Podcast Song
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

FEDERAL COURT, Oct 29 -- On October 29, months after the DC Circuit's decision in US v. Munchel, DDC Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell had before her the sentencing of Capitol breach defendant Leonard Gruppo, with the government seeking 30 days in prison, citing Gruppo's military service. Inner City Press live tweeted it here (podcast here) (TV Q&A here)

in Jan 6 case of US v. Leonard Gruppo, Chief Judge of DDC Beryl A. Howell is beginning a sentencing hearing on the Clovis, New Mexico medical assistant.  The US "Statement of Fact" described Gruppo as "a physician’s assistant at Plains Regional Medical Center (“PRMC”) in Clovis, New Mexico." He's also a vet, Judge Howell notes.

 Judge Howell: We'll hear from the government first. Assistant US Attorney: I listened to the Court's sentencing yesterday and I want to address it, and explain why he are asking for 30 days in jail. Judge Howell: That's all I'm looking for, an explanation.

AUSA: Mr. Gruppo disobeyed law enforcement, three times. His prior military service militates for jail time. He swore an oath to defend the Constitution, but damaged our global reputation as a democracy. And, he destroyed evidence.

Judge Howell: I want to go into details why the Government has recommended incarceration for Mr. Gruppo. I appreciate how the Government is using his prior military service. Mr. Lindsay noted that his military service is being used against him.

Judge Howell: Gruppo served 28 years, four combat zones. But it's being held against him. I'm puzzled that's the government's second factor. It's not just that I grew up on military bases around the world. My father parachuted

AUSA: I do respect those who risked their lives. Judge Howell: It's pretty heroic. And, Mr. Gruppo was in the Capitol for 7 minutes, and didn't attack any police officer, and didn't engage in chanting or carry signs? AUSA: No signs. We don't have audio.

 Judge Howell: He voluntarily turned himself in to the FBI. AUSA: Eventually. Judge Howell: No inflammatory language on social media. AUSA: We were not able to identify any. Judge Howell: And he pled guilty.  AUSA: Yes.

 AUSA: He scaled the walls. It shows his intent, that he knew his conduct was wrong. He saw the police establishing a perimeter but he still went into the Capitol. So we want jail time.

 AUSA: I know your Honor expressed concern at some of our early probation-only cases. But those did not involved disobeying officers, and destroying evidence. We have extended 268 pleas. Only 5 included probation-only. It's the exception.

Gruppo's lawyer: He turned over his devices. We're well aware the Court is an expert in forensics. They can reconstruct everything by Snapchat, and they get that from California with a subpoena.

Gruppo's lawyer: Mr. Gruppo followed the recommendation of a former President would could not tell the truth. This was a riot.

Gruppo himself: I'm sorrowful. I shouldn't have been there. It was a huge mistake. I let down so many people because of this. Everybody.

 Gruppo: I let down my employers. The Congressional delegation. The President. Both Presidents. I take full responsibility. Whatever you decide I accept without complaint.

Judge Howell: I'll begin with restitution. The plea agreement provides for $500.

 Judge Howell: Mr. Gruppo, you did help facilitate the riot, just by being there. It looked like a zoo, densely packed. Former President Trump said, we going to march down. And you wanted to show your support. But he didn't march.

 Judge Howell: The evidence as I see it points to a conclusion that this was a defendant that didn't deliberately support the violence that has stained our country. He's less troublesome than other riots.

Judge Howell: You served in four wars as a medical professional. Maybe the government wants to use you as an example, with the specialized training that you get. I get that. But for your defense memo calls this an insurrection, you recognize it was a mistake.

 Judge Howell: You are cooperating with the Select Committee. Your better judgment seems to have returned to you. You turned in your devices & all relevant passwords. You're expressed, & I appreciate this, you've apologized to President Biden and then VP Pence etc

Judge Howell: I do not see the need for specific deterrence. A sentence of probation with home detention is appropriate. So: Gruppo you are sentenced to 2 years of probation, $500 restitution and $3000 fine. Location monitoring for 90 days. Out for work, medical

Chief Judge Howell: So, 90 days home detention. I transfer jurisdiction to Dallas, Texas.  Adjourned

Inner City Press previously published a song about Guy Reffitt, here.

Inner City Press live tweeted Riley June Williams on January 25, here. 

  From January 22, song here: Thread here.

 Inner City Press' John Earle Sullivan song on SoundCloud here. 


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