Former Olympic swimmer and two-time gold medalist Klete Keller (pictured at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing) was to be sentenced Friday for obstruction of an official proceeding during the Jan. 6 U.S. capitol insurrection. File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Klete Keller, a two-time gold medalist former Olympic swimmer, was scheduled to be sentenced Friday for obstruction of an official proceeding in the Jan. 6 U.S. capitol insurrection.
He pleaded guilty in February after being arrested in January 2021. The sentencing was delayed due to his cooperation with authorities.
Prosecutors recommended a 10-month sentence in light of what they described as Keller's extensive cooperation in the case. The charge can carry a maximum penalty of 20 years.
They said that he has shown genuine remorse and tried to right his wrong for nearly three years.
But in their sentencing memo, prosecutors also said, "After the 2020 presidential election, Keller interfered with the peaceful transfer of power. For the first time in over 200 years, he and others broke that sacred tradition by breaching the United States Capitol in a violent riot. Klete Derik Keller once wore the American flag as an Olympian. On January 6, 2021, he threw that flag in a trash can."
Prosecutors said the 6'6", 250-pound Keller stopped just short of the senate chamber during his hour-long illegal trespass in the Capitol while shouting expletives at Democratic lawmakers Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
According to prosecutors, he resisted police efforts to remove him from the building. After being pepper-sprayed, Keller threw his U.S.A. jacket in a trash can and later destroyed his phone because prosecutors say he knew he was fleeing a crime scene.
Keller pleaded guilty Sept. 29, 2021, to the single obstructing an official proceeding charge and in return prosecutors dropped one other felony and five misdemeanor charges.