UNITED STATES NEWS

Former Air Force officer gets prison term for Capitol attack

Mar 17, 2023, 11:06 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A retired Air Force officer who stormed the U.S. Capitol dressed in combat gear and carried zip-tie handcuffs into the Senate gallery was sentenced on Friday to two years in prison.

Larry Brock joined other rioters on the Senate floor only minutes after then-Vice President Mike Pence, senators and their staff evacuated the chamber to escape the mob attacking the building on Jan. 6, 2021.

U.S. District Judge John Bates also sentenced Brock to two years of supervised release after his prison term and ordered him to perform 100 hours of community service. Brock, who declined to speak in court before the judge imposed his sentence, remains free until he must report to prison at a date to be determined.

Prosecutors had recommended a sentence of five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

Bates convicted Brock in November after a trial without a jury. The judge said Brock expressed “very troubling” and violent rhetoric before the Jan. 6 riot. The judge read aloud several of Brock’s social media postings calling it “really pretty astounding” that a former high-ranking military officer expressed those words.

“That’s chilling stuff, and it does reflect a purpose to stop the certification of the election,” Bates said.

Brock believed baseless conspiracy theories that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Republican incumbent Donald Trump, prosecutors said.

“When we get to the bottom of this conspiracy we need to execute the traitors that are trying to steal the election, and that includes the leaders of the media and social media aiding and abetting the coup plotters,” Brock wrote in a Nov. 9. 2020, post on Facebook.

In a Facebook message to another user on Christmas Eve, Brock outlined what he called a “plan of action if Congress fails to act” on Jan. 6. One of the “main tasks” in his plan was to “seize all Democratic politicians and Biden key staff and select Republicans.”

“Begin interrogations using measures we used on al-Qaida to gain evidence on the coup,” he wrote.

Brock, a Texas native who lived in the Dallas area, flew combat missions in Afghanistan before retiring from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel.

His “plan of action” also called for a “general pardon for all crimes up to and including murder of those restoring the Constitution and putting down the Democratic Insurrection.”

“Do not kill LEO unless necessary,” he wrote, apparently referring to law enforcement officers.

Brock didn’t engage in any violence on Jan. 6, but prosecutors said his behavior was “disturbingly premediated.”

“Had the Senate Gallery not been emptied minutes before, Brock could have come face-to-face with the politicians he had fantasized about seizing and interrogating,” they wrote in a court filing.

Bates convicted Brock of all six counts in his indictment, including obstruction of an official proceeding, the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress for certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory, The obstruction charge is a felony; the other five counts are misdemeanors.

Defense attorney Charles Burnham said it is “inconceivable that (Brock) was motivated by anything other than genuine concern for democracy.”

“If Mr. Brock was sincerely motivated by high ideals, it significantly reduces his culpability even if the Court should privately disagree with his view,” Burnham wrote in a court filing.

Brock attended the “Stop the Steal” rally where Trump addressed a crowd of supporters on Jan. 6. He was wearing a helmet and tactical vest when he joined the mob that attacked the Capitol. He entered the building through Senate wing doors roughly 12 minutes after other rioters initially breached them.

On the floor near the East Rotunda stairs, Brock picked up a discarded pair of zip-tie handcuffs. He held the “flex-cuffs” in his right hand in the Senate gallery. On the Senate floor, he examined paperwork on senators’ desks.

“This was consistent with Brock’s stated overall mission on January 6, which was intelligence gathering to stop the certification and the transfer of power,” prosecutors wrote.

Brock graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1989. He was on active duty until 1998 and served in the reserves until 2014.

In a letter to the judge, a retired Air Force major general praised Brock’s military service. The major general, whose name was redacted from public court filings, said Brock risked his life to protect U.S. forces from a Taliban attack, flying below mountain peaks into a valley “saturated with enemy forces.”

“The result thwarted enemy advances on U.S. personnel, saved U.S. lives and defused an ever-escalating situation for the forces at that remote base in Afghanistan,” the major general wrote.

Brock was employed as a commercial airline pilot on Jan. 6. His lawyer said the Federal Aviation Administration revoked Brock’s licenses after his January 2021 arrest.

Approximately 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Jan. 6 riot. More than 400 of them have been sentenced, with over half getting terms of imprisonment ranging from seven days to 10 years.

United States News

FILE - An orca swims past a recreational boat sailing just offshore in the Salish Sea in the San Ju...

Associated Press

To keep whales safe, Coast Guard launches boat alert system in Seattle

SEATTLE (AP) — Photographer Matt McDonald had lived on Puget Sound for years, but had never seen a whale, so he was elated when he spotted a giant marine mammal just off Seattle’s waterfront one evening. The excitement was short-lived. As McDonald tracked the whale in his camera’s viewfinder, a state ferry that dwarfed the […]

2 hours ago

FILE - From left, Glenn Horowitz, Craig Inciardi and Edward Kosinski appear in criminal court after...

Associated Press

An unusual criminal case over handwritten lyrics to ‘Hotel California’ goes to trial Wednesday

NEW YORK (AP) — A curious criminal case involving handwritten lyrics to the classic rock megahit “Hotel California” and other Eagles favorites is going to trial in a New York courtroom, with opening statements set for Wednesday. The three defendants, all well-established in the collectibles world, are accused of scheming to thwart Eagles co-founder Don […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Family friend of Texas girl Audrii Cunningham facing charges in 11-year-old’s death, prosecutor says

A family friend of 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham was in jail Wednesday as prosecutors say they plan to charge him in the girl’s death after her body was found in a river near her rural Texas home. Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons said the body of the young girl — who went missing last week — […]

3 hours ago

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media before boarding Marine One on the South L...

Associated Press

It’s an election year, and Biden’s team is signaling a more aggressive posture toward the press

NEW YORK (AP) — Occupants of the White House have grumbled over news coverage practically since the place was built. Now it’s Joe Biden’s turn: With a reelection campaign underway, there are signs that those behind the president are starting to more aggressively and publicly challenge how he is portrayed. Within the past two weeks, […]

3 hours ago

Emily Hollenbeck, a deep brain stimulation therapy patient, demonstrates an EEG device that records...

Associated Press

A pacemaker for the brain helped a woman with crippling depression. It may soon offer hope to others

NEW YORK (AP) — Emily Hollenbeck lived with a recurring depression she likened to a black hole, where gravity felt so strong and her limbs so heavy she could barely move. She knew the illness could kill her. Both her parents had taken their lives. She was willing to try something extreme: Having electrodes implanted […]

3 hours ago

FILE - Election judges demonstrate the accuracy of the city's voting equipment on Oct. 28, 2022, in...

Associated Press

Election officials in the US face daunting challenges in 2024. And Congress isn’t coming to help

WASHINGTON (AP) — With election season already underway, some state election officials are expressing frustration that Congress has yet to allocate federal money they have come to rely on to help cover the costs of securing their systems from attacks, updating equipment and training staff. Election officials face a long list of challenges this year, […]

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Former Air Force officer gets prison term for Capitol attack