WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Judge Tanya Chutkan sentenced Robert Scott Palmer to the longest sentence for any person convicted for their role in the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
Palmer was given a 63-month sentence to be served in federal prison. He received an additional 36 months of supervised release and was ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution. Judge Chutkan said she would recommend that Palmer be housed in a federal prison close to his home in Clearwater but could not guarantee that would happen.
Palmer pleaded guilty to his role in the attack on the Capitol on 1/6. The government said Palmer threw a wooden plank at officers, sprayed the contents of a fire extinguisher at the officers before then throwing the extinguishers. He then searched for more materials to assault police with including throwing a fire extinguisher a second time.
According to the sentencing memorandum, Palmer was eventually pepper sprayed by law enforcement, but that didn’t stop him. The government said Palmer assaulted another group of officers with a 4–5-foot pole that he threw like a spear at the officers. He was then shot by officers with a non-lethal bullet that hit him in the abdomen.
The government said Palmer admitted in interviews that his goal was to subvert a democratic election and that he hoped for military intervention to overturn the election to keep then-President Donald Trump in power.
The judge was critical of Palmer’s actions on 1/6 and said that the U.S. Marshals, Capitol Police, and others who fought to keep the insurrectionists out of the Capitol and away from the elected leaders were “the real patriots that day.”
“The men and women who kept democracy functioning that day and saved lives, they deserve the thanks of this nation,” Judge Chutkan said as she pronounced the sentence. “They didn’t deserve to have fire extinguishers thrown at them.”
When pronouncing the sentence, Chutkan said part of the reason for her sentence was, “It has to be made clear that trying to violently overthrow the government, trying to stop the peaceful transfer of power, and assaulting law enforcement officers in that effort is going to be met with absolutely certain punishment.”