Capitol rioter who testified earlier than Jan. 6 committee sentenced to probation

A former Donald Trump supporter, who participated within the assault on the U.S. Capitol and testified earlier than the Jan. 6 Committee, was sentenced Thursday to 24 months probation and 100 hours of group service.

Stephen Ayres of Ohio pleaded responsible to 1 depend of disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted constructing in June.

Throughout a digital sentencing listening to Thursday, Ayres grew emotional as he expressed regret for his participation within the Jan. 6 assault, telling Decide John Bates that he needed to apologize to “the court docket and the American individuals.”

“I went down there that day not with the intention to trigger any violence or something like that,” Ayres mentioned. “However I did get caught up on all of the stuff on-line, on Fb, which finally I felt like was steering me within the improper course.”

Ayres remarked that he’s “over all of the division within the nation,” and mentioned that he prays on daily basis for all individuals within the Jan. 6 riot in addition to “officers which are combating this” and the households of those that died on account of the assault on the Capitol.

“I simply hope in the future I can get up and never need to stay with it on a regular basis, as a result of I do, on a regular basis,” Ayres mentioned.

Ayres’ spouse, Hayle, additionally implored the choose to condemn her husband to probation. She mentioned that if her husband is incarcerated, their youngsters will “really feel that burden, and I don’t need them to.”

“We vowed once we received married that we might by no means topic our kids to a damaged residence,” Hayle Ayres mentioned. “And if he’s incarcerated, we could have damaged that vow.”

Final July, Ayres testified in a televised listening to earlier than the Jan. 6 committee, saying that he regrets the belief he positioned in Trump’s false claims about widespread election fraud within the 2020 election. He mentioned he misplaced his job and needed to promote his home due to his participation in Jan. 6.

“It undoubtedly modified my life, not for the nice,” Ayres mentioned. “Undoubtedly not for the higher.”

Ayres, who posted a picture of a poster that includes a quote from Trump’s December 2020 “can be wild” tweet earlier than the Jan. 6 assault, instructed the committee that he got here to D.C. as a result of he believed the then-president had known as him to take action. Ayres mentioned that Trump’s baseless claims a couple of stolen election made him really feel “very upset,” prompting Ayres to consider that “I wanted to be down right here.”

Ayres instructed the committee that he received off of social media after his arrest and seemed into election-related lawsuits that had been filed, which led him to understand that Trump’s claims a couple of rigged election have been unsubstantiated.

In his congressional testimony, Ayres mentioned he didn’t anticipate to go to the Capitol when he confirmed as much as Trump’s “Cease the Steal” rally on the Ellipse on the morning of Jan. 6. However his considering modified after Trump’s speech, which included disparaging feedback about then-Vice President Mike Pence, Ayres testified. 

Ayres mentioned he and different Trump supporters on the rally went to the Capitol as a result of the president had instructed them to go there.

“We mainly have been simply following what he mentioned,” Ayres mentioned, including that he believed Trump would march with them to the Capitol and that it was attainable for the election outcomes to be overturned.

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