Peter Schwartz, with the lovely then-wife, Shelly Stallings, (24 MONTHS) Schwartz has 38 prior convictions on his record.
Longest J-6 Sentence Yet
The Department of Justice secured its most severe sentence for a convicted Jan. 6 defendant yet — a marked victory for the government as it pursues those accused of attempting an insurrection.
Peter Schwartz, whom prosecutors termed “one of the most violent and aggressive participants” in the Jan. 6 riot, was sentenced to 14 years behind bars and 36 months of probation in a decision announced by Judge Amit Mehta on Friday. Earlier, federal prosecutors argued he should be sentenced to 24.5 years (or 294 months) in prison, three years of supervised release, $2,000 restitution and a fine of ✱$71,541.
✱Schwartz has raised over $71,000 from an online campaign entitled “Patriot Pete Political Prisoner in DC.” Prosecutors asked Mehta to order Schwartz to pay a fine equaling the amount raised by his campaign, arguing that he shouldn’t profit from participating in the riot. (snickering)
“This sentence is at the midpoint of Schwartz’s Sentencing Guidelines range and takes account of his repeated violence against police on January 6th, his substantial violent criminal history, his utter lack of remorse, and his efforts to profit from his crime,” the government’s sentencing memorandum said.
In addition to his actions on Jan. 6, Schwartz has what prosecutors described as a “jaw-dropping” criminal history of 38 prior convictions dating back to 1991. Those convictions were for offenses ranging from battery to assault with a deadly weapon to being a felony in possession of a handgun and terroristic threatening. In 2019, Schwartz was convicted in Kentucky for at least the second time of being a felon in possession of a firearm and for threatening to kill his girlfriend. A year later he was convicted of domestic battery in Ohio for assaulting his wife. On Jan. 6, Schwartz was still on probation from a conviction for assaultive conduct and illegal firearm possession.
Schwartz’s attorney, Dennis E. Boyle, argued in his own sentencing memo that his client should receive a much lighter term of four-and-a-half years in prison. Boyle acknowledged Schwartz’s conduct was serious, but said his actions on Jan. 6 were “not motivated by any desire for personal financial gain or any other benefit,” but instead by a “misunderstanding as to the facts surrounding the 2020 election.”
Boyle described Schwartz as a “pillar” in his family and noted his father Ronald had submitted a letter to the court describing how he “never fails to send cards in recognition of family events or holidays.”
Schwartz was armed with a wooden tire knocker when he and his then-wife, Shelly Stallings, joined other rioters in overwhelming a line of police officers on the Capitol’s Lower West Terrace, where he threw a folding chair at officers.
“By throwing that chair, Schwartz directly contributed to the fall of the police line that enabled rioters to flood forward and take over the entire terrace,” prosecutor Jocelyn Bond wrote in a court filing.
Schwartz, 49, also armed himself with a police-issued “super soaker” canister of pepper spray and sprayed it at retreating officers. Advancing to a tunnel entrance, Schwartz coordinated with two other rioters, Markus Maly and Jeffrey Brown, to spray an orange liquid toward officers clashing with the mob.
The honorable Judge Amit Mehta (Obama)
Judge Mehta said Schwartz was a “soldier against democracy” who participated in “the kind of mayhem, chaos that had never been seen in the country’s history. You are not a political prisoner. You’re not somebody who is standing up against injustice or fighting against an autocratic regime.”
Schwartz briefly addressed the judge before learning his sentence, saying, “I do sincerely regret the damage that Jan. 6 has caused to so many people and their lives.”
The judge said he didn’t believe Schwartz’s statement, noting his lack of remorse. “You took it upon yourself to try and injure multiple police officers that day,” Mehta said.