Leonard Pearson “Pearce” Ridge IV, a 19-year-old Bucks County, Pennsylvania native, drove to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021, to take part in the insurgency that left more than 140 police officers injured and caused $1.5 million in damages.
Despite his lawyer’s contention that his brain was not sufficiently matured to grasp the offenses he was committing, the now 21-year-old was sentenced to 14 days in prison, according to The New York Post.
Ridge was in charge of breaking into the offices of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). He also admitted to being inside the United States Capitol for about 40 minutes.
“I think we’re going to try to block the session of Congress,” he shared with a friend on the social media platform Snapchat as he was on his way to the Jan 6 rally.
After the Capitol riot Ridge told his Snapchat followers that he had “just made history” and that “I hate to say it but like the time for us to fight is here.” But for all intents and purposes, his tune seems to be changing now.
“If I could do it over again, I would have never entered that building or done any of the things I did that day,” he said as he sobbed on Tuesday.
According to reports, Ridge’s attorney, Carina Laguzzi, requested the judge to be lenient before her client’s punishment, citing medical research that suggests the human brain does not fully develop until the mid-20s. Ridge told the judge that he had only entered politics “in the months leading up to” Jan. 6.
“There are perhaps people who attended the rally who were swept up in the crowd, or swept up in the moment,” Judge Boasberg said. “But that is not true for you, given your previous statements.”
“A riot cannot occur without rioters, and each rioter’s actions — from the most mundane to the most violent — contributed, directly and indirectly, to the violence and destruction of that day,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Justin Friedman wrote in court filings.
Ridge pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of entering a prohibited place in October 2021, six months after his arrest was prompted by tips from high school friends.
His punishment was judged to be 14 days in jail, one year of probation, 100 hours of community service, and a $1,000 fine.
Former President Donald Trump might face federal charges under an obscure federal provision that has gained popularity since the Jan. 6 uprising.
“A third of the 700 people arrested by the Justice Department for attacking the U.S. Capitol building has been hit with a peculiar federal ‘witness tampering’ law, according to researchers at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism. Those 240 insurrectionists have been charged with corruptly obstructing an official proceeding, a never-before-seen tactic by prosecutors for an equally unprecedented event,” The Daily Beast reported.
“So far, 12 have pleaded guilty, and three of those have already been sentenced.”
Prosecutors would have to prove that Trump disregarded his aides’ requests to intervene and guide the mob because he intentionally meant for the attack to happen, according to legal analysts.
Alternatively, he may have prevented the National Guard or federal law enforcement troops from rescuing the victims.