Capitol Rioter Who’s Begging The Courts For Leniency Claimed The Jan. 6th Attack Had The “Feel Of A Rock Concert” And Argued He’s A “Good Guy Who Sometimes Gets Caught Up In The Moment”

Nice try, buddy.

678 points

It seems pretty much every individual who has been busted over their participation in the infamous, violent January 6th Capitol attack has had some ridiculous excuse or another as to why they took part in the deadly insurrection, and pretty much none of them have actually just owned up to the fact that they bought Donald Trump’s bull and made one of the worst decisions of their lives.

But this guy’s excuse may be the most hilarious we’ve heard yet — as one Capitol rioter who’s currently begging the courts for some leniency is now leaning into the excuse that he got caught up in the affair because it had the “feel of a rock concert.”

Virginia Beach brothers Eric and Paul VonBernewitz both pleaded guilty back in January to one misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building and the US Department of Justice wants them to see some jail time over their charges.

Recent reporting from Washington D.C.’s WUS9 TV news says prosecutors filed their sentencing memos yesterday and are seeking a 2-week jail sentence followed by 36 months probation for Eric, a 47-year-old furniture company owner. According to the report, judges on the D.C. District court have been unable to come to an agreement on whether a “split sentence” such as this is allowed for Class “B” misdemeanor charges like what the VonBernewitz brothers have pleaded guilty to.

Both of the brothers were among the first of the January 6th rioters to breach the metal barriers surrounding the Capitol and proceeded to physically enter the building upon seeing other insurrectionists breaking windows. Prosecutors say the brothers were inside the Capitol building for about 14 minutes during the attack.

Prosecutors also note that Eric VonBernewitz specifically downplayed his role in the riot on that fateful day during conversations with the FBI, only to go on to post “wild conspiracy theories” and the need to “round up the globalists” on his Twitter.

Austin Manghan, Eric’s attorney, submitted a sentencing memo asserting that the most appropriate punishment would be a fine without jail time or probation. The lawyer goes on to claim that his client has suffered from his actions after losing his job over his participation in the riot because his company sells furniture to military bases, which he is now barred from.

Manghan’s memo paints a picture of a pre-riot “success story” life for his client, who he says “lost the use of his right arm at age 8 as a result of a car crash. Despite that, Eric became the managing member of a successful company that sells furniture to the military and, in 2017, founded the Virginia Wrestling Club,” according to the local report.

In a sentencing memo for the other brother, prosecutors argue that his actions were more severe than Eric’s and therefore warrants a more significant punishment in sentencing, as they seek 45 days in jail as well as 36 months of probation. Prosecutors claim that Paul VonBernewitz actively participated in pushing past the metal barriers with the crowd, as law enforcement agents were attempting to hold the line.

Eric Grindrod, the attorney for Paul, claimed his client was just a “good guy who sometimes gets caught up in the moment” and actually wouldn’t have been at the Capitol at all that day if it weren’t for his brother Eric who invited him. Grindrod argues that Paul is regretful of his actions on that day and claims that nothing he did or participated in was premeditated.

Grindrod’s sentencing memo reads, “In his interview with the FBI, Paul described the scene as having the feel of a rock concert. It seems quite likely that Paul would have acted the same way on January 6th if he was part of a crowd at a ballpark, rock concert, or political rally. His conduct was impulsive, irresponsible, and inexcusable. But it was not thoughtfully directed at achieving some political goal.”

As it stands, both brothers are scheduled for sentencing before U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper next week.

Featured image via screen capture 

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