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No prison time for man who brought knife to Capitol riot

Probation sentences were ordered Tuesday for Israel Tutrow, a 23-year-old who was carrying a pocket knife on Jan. 6, and Gary Wickersham, 81, the oldest known Capitol rioter.

WASHINGTON (CN) — An Indiana man who wore an armored vest to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 to “look cool” was sentenced to 36 months of probation on Tuesday, a significantly lighter sentence than the two months behind bars sought by prosecutors. 

“You can vote for whoever you want. But you and your friends do not get to stop the count because you don’t like the results of the election," U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson told Israel Tutrow during his sentencing hearing on Tuesday. 

Tutrow had brought a pocket knife to the Capitol but told Jackson that he’s changed in the past 11 months. On top of getting a job and a car, Tutrow has been going to the gym, is educating himself, and is getting help for his mental health issues. 

“He is a much more confident, capable and responsible man than he was 11 months ago,” Tutrow’s defense attorney Heather Shaner told Jackson, mentioning that Tutrow was young — 23 years old — and misinformed on Jan. 6. 

Prosecutors had given the judge a 60-day sentencing recommendation for Tutrow, pointing to a criminal history that included several drug charges and one charge for providing alcohol to a 16-year-old girl. They also mentioned that Tutrow spent 30 minutes inside the Capitol — a longer period of time than most rioters. 

Tutrow is not the only Capitol rioter who avoided prison on Tuesday: Gary Wickersham, 81, the oldest known Capitol rioter, also was sentenced to 36 months of probation.

“It’s the first defendant I’ve had that’s older than me in quite some time,” U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, 78, said. The average age of Jan. 6 defendants is 39. 

“Sadly, 22 minutes is going to define an 81-year-old man’s life,” Wickersham’s defense attorney Michael Noone told Lamberth, noting that Wickersham is an Army vet who has no prior criminal history.

Wickersham initially told investigators that he believed the violence at the Capitol was attributable to antifa, a catchall term for what is a decentralized movement on the far left to protest against neo-Nazis and white supremacists. But on Tuesday he took responsibility.

“I shouldn’t have been in there,” Wickersham told Lamberth. “It’s not like me to do things like that. … It’s a dark blot compared to me serving my country."

Earlier on Tuesday, an actor who appeared on footage of the Jan. 6 riot singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" pleaded guilty to unlawful parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. 

Pairing a camouflage shirt with brown and black gloves, 33-year-old Aaron Michael Carico of California looked directly into the camera after singing the national anthem and offered some choice words to the Democratic speaker of the House. “Hey, Nancy, go fuck yourself," he said.

Jason Michael Comeau accepted the same plea deal as Carico on Tuesday. The Florida man wandered around the Capitol, and a relative turned him in.

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