- Jessica Watkins, a military veteran, was sentenced to 8½ years in federal prison for her involvement in the U.S. Capitol storming on Jan. 6.
- Watkins admitted to her actions during the riot and was acquitted of the most severe seditious conspiracy count.
- Watkins’ attorney argued that she should receive a lesser sentence due to her lack of criminal history and her military service.
WASHINGTON — Jessica Watkins, a military veteran who stormed the U.S. Capitol with the Oath Keepers on Jan. 6, was sentenced to 8½ years in federal prison Friday after delivering an emotional apology in court.
Watkins, 37, of Champaign County, Ohio, was convicted of numerous felony counts including obstructing Congress and interfering with police, but was acquitted of the most severe seditious conspiracy count after she admitted to much of her actions during the riot and disputed any seditious conduct from the stand.
“My actions and my behaviors that fateful day were wrong, and as I now understand, criminal,” she said through tears. “I was just another idiot running around the Capitol on Jan. 6, and I apologize to the officers.”
Judge Amit Mehta, who on Thursday sentenced Stewart Rhodes to 18 years in prison for seditious conspiracy, accepted Watkins’ apology and sentenced her to 8 and a half years in prison.
Watkins’ attorney, Thomas Plofchan, said that his client was “truly remorseful” for her actions and that she had been “a model citizen” since her arrest. He argued that she should receive a lesser sentence than the other defendants due to her lack of criminal history and her military service.
“We are grateful that the court recognized that Ms. Watkins is a good person who made a terrible mistake,” Plofchan said. “We hope that she can now move forward with her life and put this behind her.”