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Five Kentuckians facing federal charges in Capitol riot; what sentences could they receive if convicted?

Posted at 6:11 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 09:11:16-05

(LEX 18) — A fifth person from Kentucky has been charged in connection to the Washington D.C. riot on January 6. According to a federal criminal complaint, Chad Barrett Jones of Nelson County was charged with multiple counts including assault on a federal officer.

Federal authorities already reported that Michael Sparks of Hardin County was the "first" to enter a smashed window of the Capitol. He faces charges of entering a restricted building, violent entry, disorderly conduct and obstructing law.

More than 100 people face charges and according to one Kentucky law professor, the punishments could vary widely depending on several factors.

"The ones with weapons or the ones you see smashing windows are more likely to be the ones that get the book thrown at them," said Kenneth Katkin, a professor at Salmon P. Chase College of Law.

Katkin teaches in the areas of Constitutional Law, Communications Law, Legislation, Federal Jurisdiction and Entertainment Law.

"Almost everybody who has been indicted is facing prison time but there's going to be a lot of factors that go into it," said Katkin speaking of the U.S. sentencing guidelines.

"If you're looking at someone who has no prior convictions, wasn't carrying a gun who wasn't part of a gang or criminal conspiracy, you wouldn't expect them to get much more than one-third of the maximum sentence," said Katkin.

He says people who cooperate, name names, and show remorse will likely have a better chance of avoiding prison time.

"I do think you're going to see the F.B.I. offering a range of plea agreements to these people even if they are charged with similar crimes," Katkin said.