U.S. Capitol riot resulted in around 700 persons being charged for federal crimes. While 150 of them have pleaded guilty, 20 defendants have been sentenced to prison or have already served their time. Over a dozen were sentenced to home confinement.
Cleveland Meredith Jr., a man from North Carolina, got under the spotlight after arriving in Washington, armed and dangerous. He threatened to shoot Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker. Meredith was sentenced to two years and four months in prison on Tuesday.
With plans to attend President Donald Trump’s rally on January 6, Cleveland headed towards Washington, but he arrived after the riot had ended due to a vehicle malfunction. He slept in a hotel in Washington and wrote his uncle a text the day after the insurrection, using a derogatory term to insult House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and threatening to “put a bullet in her noggin on Live TV.”
His uncle was concerned, and he phoned Meredith’s mother. His mother, frightened by her son’s radical social media posts and aware that he was suffering from mental health issues, contacted the FBI.
The 53-year-old apologized to Pelosi, claiming that he was out of control, but U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson underlined that the threats weren’t the only disturbing comments Meredith had made. Although Meredith’s lawyers argued that Meredith had no intention of carrying out the threats because he sent the messages to relatives and friends, Berman Jackson refused a suggestion that the statements were just a joke.
Meredith arrived in Washington with a handgun and a military-style rifle. His texts boasted that he had thousands of armor-piercing bullets, profanely screamed “Burn DC” to the ground after a friend informed him that the Capitol had been breached, and texted that he was going to gather traitors’ heads.
According to the Judge, Meredith’s mental health issues existed before Joe Biden’s election or the formation of QAnon, adding that he has been involved in assaults and a driving rage incident.