Dawn Bancroft said in a selfie video shot after exiting the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, that she was looking to shoot House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in "the friggin' brain." Image courtesy of U.S. Justice Department
July 21 (UPI) -- A woman who said she broke into the Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack and searched the building for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with intent to shoot her "in the friggin' brain" was sentenced Thursday by a district judge to 60 days' imprisonment.
The Justice Department said Dawn Bancroft, 59, was also sentenced to three years' probation, 100 hours of community service and a $500 fine.
The sentencing by district Judge Emmet Sullivan comes nearly a year after Bancroft pleaded guilty in late September to a misdemeanor charge of illegally demonstrating, picketing or parading inside the Capitol, which comes with a maximum penalty of six months in prison.
Bancroft was arrested in Fort Washington, Pa., in late January 2021 after the FBI received a tip and a video showing her at the Capitol among a horde of supporters of then-President Donald Trump who stormed the building Jan. 6 in an attempt to stop the joint sessions of Congress from certifying Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States.
The criminal complaint states the video the FBI received was self-shot by Bancroft and Diana Santos-Smith and showed them exiting the Capitol. During the video, Bancroft admits to having broken into the building and that they were "looking for Nancy to shoot her in the friggin' brain but we didn't find her."
In a court filing in the case, Bancroft's attorney, Carina Laguzzi, argued for a light sentence for her client as she didn't mean what she said.
Laguzzi argued that Bancroft was not charged with criminal conduct over the comments as she had already left the building and law enforcement did not take it as an actual intent to do harm to Pelosi.
"The statement of offense, as drafted by the government, shows that Ms. Bancroft entered and quickly exited the Capitol," Laguzzi wrote. "She was not seen walking around, and thus was not looking for anyone.
"Who hasn't told their spouse, 'I am going to kill you if you leave you leave you shoes [sic] on the carpet again!' And yet, these statements are not meant to be taken literally. Clearly the video was made in jest and bravado."
During sentencing Thursday, Sullivan said he considered imposing greater jail time but ended up siding with the prosecution's two-month request, according to CNN.
"The comments made by you on the steps of the Capitol in the presence of others ... they were reckless statements that people should be held accountable for," he said. "How many others left there that day [thinking], 'Hey, next time I come I'm going to bring my bullets for Nancy.'"
According to the Justice Department, more than 850 people have been arrested in connection to the Capitol siege, including more than 260 who have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.
Santos-Smith was also sentenced Thursday to 20 days' imprisonment, three years' probation, 100 hours of community service and a $500 fine.