Nazi sympathizer sentenced to four years in prison for participating in Jan. 6 riot at Capitol
WASHINGTON (KWTX) - An Army reservist from New Jersey was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison on felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 in an effort to disrupt a joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College vote electing Joseph R. Biden as the president of the United States.
Timothy Louis Hale-Cusanelli, 32, of Colts Neck, New Jersey, drove to Washington, D.C. on the morning of the attack and joined a mob of rioters that illegally breached a police line attempting to secure the Capitol grounds.
Hale-Cusanelli commanded others in the mob to “advance” on the Capitol, a command he continued once inside.
Prosecutors said Hale-Cusanelli was among the first rioters to enter the Capitol, moving inside shortly after the breach that took place at 2:12 p.m. at the Senate Wing Door.
He made harassing and derogatory statements toward Capitol Police officers, saying that a “revolution” was coming and remained in the building for approximately 40 minutes.
Days after the incident, Hale-Cusanelli told a friend that being in the Capitol was “exhilarating,” he was hoping for a “civil war,” and that the “tree of liberty must be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
At the time of the Capitol breach, Hale-Cusanelli was enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves. He also worked as a contractor at a naval weapons station, where he had a “secret” security clearance. He has since been barred from the facility.
Hale-Cusanelli was arrested on Jan. 15, 2021 and found guilty by a jury on May 27, 2022, of a felony charge of obstruction of an official proceeding, and four related misdemeanors: entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol Building.
“I disrespected my uniform,” said Hale-Cusanelli as he asked the judge for mercy.
During his sentencing, however, the Court found Hale-Cusanelli obstructed justice during the trial, when he made certain statements under oath, and applied an enhancement to the sentence.
Following his prison term, Hale-Cusanelli will be placed on three years of supervised release. He also must pay $2,000 in restitution.
According to CNN, during the sentencing, the judge repeatedly castigated Hale-Cusanelli for racist commentary that “normalizes violence.”
In their sentencing memorandum, prosecutors argued that Hale-Cusanelli should receive 78 months behind bars and pointed to his desire for a civil war and antisemitic conspiracies, claiming that Jews controlled Democrats, President Joe Biden and all of government.
“It is well-established in the record at this point that Hale-Cusanelli subscribes to White Supremacist and Nazi-Sympathizer ideologies that drive his enthusiasm for another civil war and formed the basis of this Court’s pretrial determination that Hale-Cusanelli was a danger to the community,” prosecutor Kathryn Fifield wrote.
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