1 of 3 | Plainclothes officers with the Capitol Police point their guns at rioters who had broken the glass of the main door of the House Chamber as congress members scrambled to safety. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 22 (UPI) -- A former U.S. Army reservist and alleged White supremacist was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday in federal court for his role in the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol in early 2021.
Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, who has been pictured wearing a mustache like Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, was convicted in May on five charges, including one felony count of obstruction of an official proceeding.
"I disgraced my uniform and I disgraced the country," Hale-Cusanelli said, admitting to saying "ugly things" that are "repugnant," according to NBC News.
The 32-year-old former government security contractor from Monmouth County, N.J., who also once held a "secret" security clearance, promised the judge he would never see his face in court again.
U.S. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden sentenced Hale-Cusanelli one week after he handed down multiple felony convictions against three other Jan. 6 defendants at the conclusion of a separate bench trial in Washington.
McFadden also sentenced Hale-Cusanelli to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $2,000 in restitution, CNN reported.
Prosecutors asked for nearly seven years, citing Hale-Cusanelli's Nazi sympathies, lack of remorse, "enthusiasm for civil war, and his well-documented history of violent rhetoric," according to a sentencing memo that also alleges he "lied on the stand."
"Hale-Cusanelli is, at best, extremely tolerant of violence and death," prosecutors said, according to NBC News. "What Hale-Cusanelli was doing on January 6 was not activism, it was the preamble to his civil war."
The riot was carried out by radical supporters of former President Donald Trump, who stormed Congress to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden's election win.
During the trial, Hale-Cusanelli testified that he was clueless that Congress members convened at the Capitol.
"I know this sounds idiotic, but I'm from New Jersey," he explained to the jury. "I feel like an idiot, it sounds idiotic, and it is."
But McFadden, a Donald Trump appointee, didn't buy the excuse, calling Hale-Cusanelli's testimony "highly dubious."
In a memo to the judge, Hale-Cusanelli's attorney pleaded for mercy, saying the defendant "regrets his actions, deplores the violence and property destruction at the Capitol, and apologizes to members of Congress, congressional staff, and law enforcement for his part in the events."
Court records also revealed that dozens of people who had previously worked with Hale-Cusanelli said he regularly expressed negative viewpoints about minorities and women. He was also known to strike up impromptu debates at racial justice protests and had been arrested once while wielding a potato gun bearing the slogan "WHITE IS RIGHT."