On Tuesday, a former singer in the West Virginia Capitol Choir was sentenced to seven years in prison for participating in the January 6th attack on the US Capitol during President Donald Trump’s term.
Riley June Williams, 22, was arrested in January after the FBI received a tip when footage and video images of her surfaced during the assault. During the attack, Williams is accused of taking a laptop from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and attempting to sell it to Russia. Williams also attended the rally at the White House prior to the attack.
Judge Anthony Trenga sentenced Williams to 7 years in prison along with three years of supervised release, saying that her actions on January 6th were “an attempt to violently overthrow the government.”
Trenga said that Williams’ crime was “utterly inexcusable” and that the overwhelming evidence against her convinced him he had to impose the full sentence.
During the hearing, Williams’ defence lawyer argued that she had been a model citizen prior to the riots, citing her involvement in the Capitol Choir and other charitable activities. The lawyer also argued that Williams fled the scene when she realised the gravity of the situation.
The judge conceded that her past life was “undoubtedly meritorious”, but said that Williams had “chosen a more dangerous path on January 6th”. The prosecution argued that Williams’ crimes led to “a serious attack on the peaceful transition of power.”
Williams has already served 11 months of her 7 year sentence since her arrest in January, but will now serve a further 5 years and 11 months in federal prison.
Williams insists she was not part of any mob and was merely caught in the “throng of people” at the Capitol. She was a member of the Capitol Choir for several years and was seen in various media photographs of insurrectionists.