A Glendora man who admitted to breaking a window during a January 6, 2021 breach of the US Capitol was sentenced on Friday to four months in prison.
Hunter Ehmke, 21, was also sentenced to 36 months of supervised release and ordered to pay $2,821 after accepting a plea deal earlier this year, according to the US Attorney’s Office.
Thousands of Trump supporters traveled to Washington DC on January 6, 2021, in what turned into a violent but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to prevent Congress from attesting to President Joe Biden’s election victory. The January 6 uprising has so far led to more than 800 arrests nationwide, including more than two dozen linked to Southern California.
According to a sentencing brief filed by prosecutors, Ehmke went to Washington DC to participate in the “Stop the Steel” rally, then joined a large crowd as it gathered outside the Rotunda Door, on the east side of the Capitol building.
Ehmke jumped on the edge of a window leading to the Capitol offices and used his right foot and right fist to break several window panes. Prosecutors wrote, one officer observed a wave of awe for members of the crowd, apparently to draw attention to an unprotected window.
Police pushed Ehmke to the ground and took him into custody, but were forced to let go when they were surrounded by a large group of rioters. The officers took pictures of Ehmke and confiscated his driving license before letting him go.
Ehmke was arrested days after having dinner at the home of her grandfather, former Glendora councilman Bob Kuhn.
In the sentencing brief, prosecutors wrote that Ehmke “was not just an actor who backed down and followed the others at the Capitol.” Instead, prosecutors described him as “an instigator” who “led others toward an unsafe potential entry point into the capital and began attacking it.”
However, he notes that Ehmke has no criminal history, lives with his parents and works for their online business, and left the Capitol building when ordered to do so by police.
See all: List: These Southern California residents accused of participating in the Capitol riot
Ehmke’s lawyer, in his own sentence brief, described Ehmke as “fed by lies and fraudulent instructions by people who should have known better.” He had traveled to Washington DC to see Trump speak, the defense attorney wrote, assuring his family to pay for “a good practice in civic education.” Instead, Ehmke was “caught in the adrenaline, chaos, and camaraderie of the crowd.”
Defense counsel argued that Ehmke “did not organize or instigate the riot, nor did he cause bodily harm to any person.”
So far, more than 275 people nationwide have pleaded guilty to charges related to the January 6 riots, and more than 165 people have been sentenced, according to Justice Department data.
Unlike most of Southern California’s other Capitol Uprising defendants, who have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges that essentially amount to trespass on a restricted basis, Ehmke pled guilty to a felony charge.