Capitol riot: Woman convicted of stealing Pelosi’s laptop | Court news

A woman who was accused of helping steal then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s laptop during the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, has been sentenced to three years in prison on riot-related charges.

Riley June Williams, 23, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was convicted Thursday, although a jury in November failed to reach a verdict on a charge of “aiding and abetting the theft of the laptop.”

A jury in November was also deadlocked on a charge of obstructing official proceedings, a reference to the protesters’ disruption of Congress, which was meeting to certify President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, when the riot broke out.

Instead, Williams was found guilty of four other charges, including felony disruption.

Riley June Williams was sentenced to prison for her role in the January 6 Capitol riot [Dauphin County Prison via AP Photo]

Prosecutors, in asking U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson to sentence Williams to seven years and three months in prison, called the convicted woman an “accelerator” who “exacerbated the chaos.”

“When others turned back, she moved forward,” prosecutors wrote in a lawsuit.

Williams’ defense, meanwhile, said her youth and gender set her apart from the majority of those present on Jan. 6.

“In other ways, she is similar to many other defendants on Jan. 6 with no prior criminal record who were mobbed that day, acting impulsively and without thinking about the consequences of their actions,” the defense wrote.

They asked for a year in prison for Williams, who was 22 at the time of the Capitol attack.

Jackson’s three-year sentence, handed down Thursday, also includes three years of supervised release and a $2,000 restitution fee, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Prosecutors said Williams was an ardent supporter of the white nationalist “Groyper” movement, led by online personality Nick Fuentes, who infamously dined with Trump and rapper Kanye West, now known as Ye, at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in November 2022

Prosecutors said Williams was “obsessed” with Fuentes because he pushed baseless allegations of fraud spread by Trump after his 2020 election loss.

William’s defense argued that her political beliefs should not be a factor in the sentence.

But prosecutors detailed how Williams engaged in a day of destruction on Jan. 6 after arriving in Washington wearing an “I’m with Groiper” T-shirt.

She attended Trump’s “Stop Theft” rally before heading to the Capitol, where she entered the Senate door two minutes after other rioters broke through the entrance, prosecutors said.

Inside the Capitol, she used men in helmets and bulletproof vests as “human battering rams” to break through police lines, they said.

Meanwhile, in Pelosi’s office, she stole a gavel and encouraged another rioter to grab a laptop from the table.

“As the other insurgent later tampered with the laptop and its cables, Williams filmed the theft she had just ordered and encouraged and further instructed the insurgent, ‘Dude, put on some gloves!'” prosecutors said in court documents.

In all, Williams spent nearly 90 minutes at the Capitol, prosecutors said.

Before her arrest, prosecutors alleged Williams also destroyed evidence by deleting her social media accounts, resetting her iPhone and using software to wipe her computer.

It came after Williams bragged online that she stole Pelosi’s gavel, laptop and hard drives and that she “gave the electronic devices or attempted to give them to unspecified Russian individuals,” prosecutors said.

“To date, neither the laptop nor the hammer have been recovered,” they said in a June 2022 court filing.

About 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riot. More than 400 have been convicted, with more than half receiving sentences ranging from seven days to 10 years in prison.

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