WASHINGTON — A January 6 rioter who repeatedly struck a police officer with a flagpole as the officer was dragged down the Capitol steps was sentenced Monday to more than four years in federal prison.
Peter Stager, a 44-year-old trucker from Arkansas, was sentenced to 52 months in prison by US District Judge Rudolph Contreras. The prosecutors had sought six and a half years in prison, citing Stager’s «chilling motivation» and the brutality of the assault.
“Every one of those Capitol Hill law enforcement officers, death is the remedy, that’s the only remedy they get,” Stager said in a video on Jan. 6, according to prosecutors.
In court, however, Stager said Monday that he thought the officer was a member of Antifa, and that all he saw were the officer’s shoes and that it was «kind of weird» that people were dressed in tactical gear and hiking boots.
«Ultimately what I remember is the feet,» he said.
Stager’s attorney said Monday that his client was «deeply sorry for his conduct» and told the judge that the rehabilitative function of incarceration had already been accomplished because he had already served more than two years in federal custody.
«I take full responsibility for my actions,» Stager said. «I ruined it.»
Stager said he will «continue to support blue» and said he hopes the country can come together and not follow «bad people with bad ideas who think they are leaders.»
Contreras said he took into account Stager’s «horrible» upbringing, noting that he had been raised by a heroin-addicted prostitute and abandoned his children in a motel. Stager was then subjected to abuse in the foster care system, the judge said.
Contreras added that former President Donald Trump and his allies «take responsibility for what happened that day.»
One of Stager’s co-defendants, Logan Barnhart, a romance novel cover model who dragged the officer down the stairs, was previously sentenced to more than three years in federal prison.
Last week, prosecutors released new cases from January 6 against 19 different defendants. More than 1,000 people have been charged so far in connection with the attack on the Capitol, and more than 300 have been sentenced to prison.
Earlier Monday, a husband and wife, Jamie Buteau and Jennifer Buteau, who appeared in a QAnon documentary, pleaded guilty and the husband admitted that he threw a chair at officers inside the Capitol, where it bounced off a wall and struck an officer in the arm.
Another defendant, Michael Scott Lockwood, admitted that he got into a fight with an officer and then stole his baton.
«I bought myself a little souvenir,» Lockwood, who pleaded guilty Monday, had written in a Facebook post.