WASHINGTON — A military veteran who stormed the US Capitol with the Oath Keepers on January 6 was sentenced to 8 1/2 years in federal prison Friday after apologizing for her actions.
Jessica Watkins told U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta her actions were «reprehensible» and apologized for the impact her conduct had on the country.
«My actions and behavior on that fateful day were wrong and, as I now understand, criminal,» he said. «Violence is never the answer.»
Watkins, recalling her testimony during the trial, said once again that she was «just another idiot» running through the Capitol on January 6 and apologized to officials.
“I was just another idiot running around the Capitol,” he said. “But idiots are responsible, and today you are going to hold this idiot accountable.”
Watkins’ sentencing came the day after Mehta sentenced Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes to 18 years in federal prison and Florida Oath Keeper Kelly Meggs to 12 years. Another Oath Keepers defendant will be sentenced on Friday afternoon and additional members of the far-right group will be sentenced next week.
Mehta said Watkins’ behavior was not as bad as Rhodes’ or Meggs’, but that it was still serious and that she, too, played a role in bringing others to Washington on Jan. 6.
«No one would suggest that you are Stewart Rhodes and frankly I don’t think you are Kelly Meggs,» the judge said. But she was more than just a foot soldier, he added.