WASHINGTON — Sentencing hearings for two Proud Boys leaders convicted of seditious conspiracy in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol were abruptly canceled Wednesday due to illness.
Former Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio and organizer Ethan “Rufio Panman” Nordean were set to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly. The two men were among a group of Proud Boys leaders convicted in a five-month jury trial earlier this year of conspiring to incite violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6 in order to disrupt the certification of the 2020 election.
Less than an hour before Tarrio’s hearing was scheduled to begin Wednesday morning, however, a notice was sent out that the hearing had been canceled. A court spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday afternoon the judge had canceled the hearing due to illness. In a docket entry, the court rescheduled Tarrio's sentencing to Sept. 5 and Nordean's to Friday.
Prosecutors are seeking 33 years in prison for Tarrio and 27 for Nordean, writing in a sentencing memo the Proud Boys saw themselves as foot soldiers for former President Donald Trump.
“The foot soldiers of the right aimed to keep their leader in power,” prosecutors wrote. “They failed. They are not heroes; they are criminals.”
Tarrio was previously convicted in D.C. and sentenced to five months in prison for burning a historic Black church's Black Lives Matter flag and unlawfully bringing high-capacity magazines into the District. In June, a D.C. Superior Court judge issued a $1 million civil judgment against Tarrio and others in connection with that flag burning after they failed to appear in court.
A DC Police lieutenant has also been charged with lying to the FBI about his communications with Tarrio and tipping the former Proud Boys chairman off about his impending arrest in connection with the flag burning. Lt. Shane Lamond, who has been on administrative leave since early last year, is scheduled to go to trial on those charges in February.
The cancellation was not expected to affect the sentencing hearings for three other Proud Boys scheduled to go before Kelly later in the week. Former InfoWars employee Joe Biggs and Philadelphia Proud Boys chapter president Zachary Rehl were both scheduled to be sentenced Thursday. Dominic Pezzola, the Marine Corps veteran and New York Proud Boy who broke the Senate Wing window that caused the first breach of the Capitol, was set to be sentenced on Friday. Pezzola was acquitted of the most serious count, seditious conspiracy, but convicted of multiple other felony counts of destruction of property and assaulting and robbing a police officer.
If granted, the Justice Department’s sentencing requests would set new records for Jan. 6 defendants. To date, the longest sentence has been handed down to Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the Oath Keepers militia who was convicted of seditious conspiracy last year. U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta sentenced Rhodes to 18 years in prison in May.