A member of the Oath Keepers militia who participated in the Jan. 6, 2021, riots that resulted in the breach of the Capitol (pictured) in Washington, D.C., has been sentenced to 8.5 years in prison for her role in the riot. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
May 26 (UPI) -- Oath Keepers militia member Jessica Watkins was sentenced to 8.5 years in prison Friday for her role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riots that breached the U.S. Capitol.
Watkins' sentence comes one day after Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes was sentenced to 18 years in prison and Oath Keepers member Kelly Meggs was sentenced to 12 years.
Rhodes and Meggs were both convicted of seditious conspiracy, while Watkins was acquitted of that charge and instead was found guilty of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, conspiring to prevent officers from discharging their duties and civil disorder last year.
Prosecutors allege that Watkins organized a group of Oath Keepers to travel to Washington, D.C., and gathered weapons outside the Capitol.
NBC reports that Watkins said, "I was just another idiot running around," and that "today, you're going to hold this idiot responsible."
"My actions and my behaviors that fateful day were wrong, and as I now understand, criminal," Watkins said in court.
"Your honor, I am truly sorry for what I did that day," she said.
Judge Amit Mehta emphasized that Watkins was culpable despite her actions not being as bad as those of Rhodes and Meggs.
"Nobody would suggest you're Stewart Rhodes, and, frankly, I don't think you're Kelly Meggs," said Mehta.
"But your role in those events is more than that of just a foot solider. I think you can appreciate that," Mehta continued.
Watkins previously served in the U.S. military and is transgender, a fact that Mehta referenced in court.
"You have overcome a lot and you are to be held out as somebody who can actually serve as a role model for others in that journey," said Mehta.
"And I say that in a time when people who are trans, who are confronting their gender identity, are so readily vilified and used for political purposes," Mehta continued.