Wednesday saw sentencing for the first January 6 Capitol rioter who had been accused of assaulting law enforcement. Scott Fairlamb, a former mixed martial arts fighter from New Jersey, was sentenced to just over three years in prison.
And according to NBC4 Washington’s Scott MacFarlane, the sentence does not augur well for other defendants in the same boat.
“If U.S. Capitol riot insurrectionists were trying to read some tea leaves today, they likely didn’t like what they were reading,” said MacFarlane. “It was a pivotal sentencing today. Former MMA fighter Scott Fairlamb of New Jersey, the first January 6th defendant who’s pleaded guilty to assaulting police, to have his case go to sentencing.”
MacFarlane proceeded to go over some details of the case.
“Prosecutors argued for 44 months in prison for Scott Fairlamb, citing, among other things, his history of assault cases before January 6th,” he explained. “The defense made their case, then Fairlamb spoke. Tearfully apologizing, saying he tarnished his family’s name, and that he accepted full responsibility for his actions. The judge issued the sentence. 41 months, just below what prosecutors recommended but still inside the federal guidelines for a plea deal in a case like Fairlamb’s.”
MacFarlane then explained that what the judge told Fairlamb was what is truly ominous for other Capitol rioters.
“He, in a sense, congratulated Fairlamb for taking the plea deal, saying that because there’s a video court exhibit, a powerful video court exhibit showing Fairlamb confronting police outside the Capitol January 6th, the judge said there’s not a jury out there that would have acquitted Fairlamb at trial,” he said. “And then the judge warned other defendants charged with assaulting police they’re likely to face far more than 41 months when their day in court comes, especially if they take their case to trial.”
“And then the judge said this,” added MacFarlane. “He said he felt ‘spun’ by a previous January 6th defendant in a previous case. Going back through our records and through the court files, Judge Lamberth handled the case of Anna Morgan-Lloyd, who was shown leniency at sentencing. No jail time, probation. Anna Morgan-Lloyd of Indiana. And then famously went on Fox News after sentencing, and according to some, minimized her conduct and minimized the crime. That does not bode well for some other January 6th defendants, if judges are going to be more on the lookout for being spun, and they’re already warning other defendants that less leniency is likely in the future.”