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Jury Convicts First Jan. 6 Rioter Who Entered The Capitol

A federal jury on Friday convicted the first rioters who broke into the Capitol on Jan. 6, the Associated Press reported.

Michael Sparks, 46, was found guilty of participating in a violation aimed at objecting to the certification of Joe Biden's 2020 election victory. according to To AP. The newspaper said the sparks entered the Capitol through a window broken by another rioter. According to the outlet, a jury found him guilty of all six charges, including two felonies. He reportedly chose not to testify during the trial. His sentencing by U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly is scheduled for July 9, 2024, the newspaper said.

Sparks and colleagues traveled from Kentucky to Washington, D.C., to attend President Donald Trump's “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6 near the White House, according to the Associated Press. Sparks and his colleague Joseph Howe were reportedly part of the crowd heading toward the Capitol after the event. The paper said Howe announced his intention to breach the building and Sparks said their actions depended on whether Pence upheld the Constitution in a way that would allow Trump to remain in power. The incident was reportedly recorded. (Related: Facebook announces Trump has been suspended for two years for the January 6th riot)

“Michael Sparks was more prepared for combat than any other police officer he encountered that day,” Justice Department Attorney Emily Allen said during the trial.

According to the Associated Press, Sparks led the charge just before the senators were forced to evacuate. Prosecutors portrayed him as intent on conflict. “The defendant was prepared for civil war. Not only was he ready for civil war. He wanted it,” Allen said, the newspaper reported.

According to reports, defense attorney Scott Wendelsdorf pleaded guilty to Sparks' lesser charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct, opposed felony charges of trespassing and obstruction of justice, and accused him of mob action. He said it suggested Sparks was unfairly singled out. Exit.

“According to the government, Michael Sparks may have started the game, but he left the game on the sideline before the end of the first quarter,” Wendelsdorf told jurors. the paper reported.

Mr. Wendelsdorf reportedly argued that it was unfair to blame Mr. Sparks for the chaos and damage caused by the mob. Sparks claimed he distanced himself from the Capitol as soon as it became clear that Vice President Mike Pence would not heed President Donald Trump's calls to overturn Biden's election victory, according to the Associated Press.

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