Man who recorded fatal shooting of Ashli ​​Babbitt on January 6 convicted

A Utah man who filmed himself inciting violence and breaking a window before filming the fatal shooting of Ashli ​​Babbitt outside the House chamber during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack was sentenced Friday to six years in prison.

John Earle Sullivan, 29, was paid $90,875 for his videos before he was convicted at trial. A jury in November found him guilty of rioting and obstructing Congress' approval of the 2020 election results, both felonies, and five felonies.

Prosecutors said Sullivan was a self-described activist with anarchist views who brought a tactical vest, a gas mask, a megaphone and a knife to the riot. Demand a prison sentence After just over seven years, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rebekah Lederer and Michael Barclay said Sullivan “shared a desire to see the government burn” and vote certification stopped.

Attorney Steven Kiersh said Sullivan was born in Virginia, adopted by a now-retired Army lieutenant colonel and his wife, and moved with them to Utah, where he trained as an Olympic speed skater before injuries held him back. Kiersh cited more than a dozen letters from friends and family describing Sullivan as “much different” than what the jury saw. The attorney wrote that Sullivan “lived an admirable and caring life, demonstrating a sense of responsibility, dedication to his family, friends and community and an individual who sought to improve the lives of those around him.”

Since his conviction, Sullivan has been held in protective custody in virtual isolation at the DC jail, where authorities ruled that he held opposing political views and that placing him with other defendants on January 6 was a “threat to his physical safety.” would be. said lawyer. Kiersh asked U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth for a 30-month prison sentence.

Because Sullivan has expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the past, conservatives like Rudy Giuliani have claimed he was a left-wing agitator in the mob as they tried to distract from what motivated the overwhelming pro-Trump crowd . More than 1,350 people have been charged, including nearly 500 accused of attacking police, 130 of whom were armed or caused injuries.

Sullivan's interests were mixed, said prosecutors, who called him an agent of anti-establishment chaos who shared the goal of attacking Congress and the presidential transition. Using personas like “JaydenX” and Insurgence USA, Sullivan built a nearly 500,000 social media following by posting protest-related content following the 2020 police killing of George Floyd.

After he organized a protest in Provo, Utah, in July 2020, during which a motorist was shot, he was targeted by conservatives who believed he was a Black Lives Matter activist, he said. Black Lives Matter activists in Utah said Sullivan was not part of their group and urged protesters to avoid calling him a troublemaker and rioter.

In the winter of 2020, Sullivan wrote in a social media post: “Let the electoral cleansing begin,” the government said. “Time to burn it all down,” he wrote in another post on January 2, 2021. At the Capitol, he was recorded saying, “We're taking this s— to the ground” and “Let's f— this is up.”

Sullivan grew up in Stafford, Virginia, about 45 miles from Washington. His brother James is a conservative activist who has denounced John's liberal politics. The rift between the brothers was the subject of an unaired documentary called “A house dividedby Jade Sacker, who recorded both men in Washington and whose video was shown during the trial.

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