Man turned in by ex-girlfriend gets 9 months in Capitol riot

September 7, 2022 GMT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A suburban Philadelphia man charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol has been sentenced to nine months in federal prison after he reportedly insulted the intelligence of an ex-girlfriend for not believing the election had been stolen and she turned him in to authorities.

Richard Michetti, 29, of Ridley Park, was also ordered Tuesday to spend two years on supervised release and pay a $100 special assessment and $2,000 in restitution. He had pleaded guilty in May in Washington to aiding and abetting obstruction of an official proceeding. Counts of trespassing, violent entry and disorderly conduct were dismissed.

FBI authorities said a former romantic partner of Michetti alerted authorities about his presence a day after the Capitol siege by supporters of then-President Donald Trump. Officials said photos showed him inside the Capitol Rotunda. The affidavit alleged that Michetti said he was there to protest the election results and told the informant in a text message several hours after the siege began “If you can’t see the election was stolen you’re a moron.”

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The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that at Tuesday’s hearing in Washington, he apologized to police, his family and the “average Americans who were engaged and fearful by the events that occurred that day.”

“Even though I thought the vote was not fair, it does not give anyone the right to act in such a way,” he said.

Prosecutors sought a sentence of 18 months, saying he showed a disregard for the rule of law and “a willingness to incite and engage in violence.” Defense attorney Perry de Marco Sr. said his client never planned to be part of an insurrection but acted out of a “fervent belief that the country was moving in a horrible direction.”

Michetti told the judge he had enrolled in anger management classes and now regularly goes to church, and “the person on display on Jan. 6 is not the same person your honor sees here today.”