A transgender Oath Keepers member lured to the paramilitary group after consuming a “steady diet” of conspiracy monger Alex Jones received an 8 1/2-year sentence on Friday for Jan. 6-related felonies.
Tried in tandem with Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and three other people, Jessica Watkins elected to testify in her own defense at last year’s historic seditious conspiracy trial. She escaped conviction on the top count of her indictment, a statute often likened to a lighter analog to treason. But she racked up heavy felony convictions, including obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiring to prevent officers from discharging their duties, and civil disorder.
Federal prosecutors had asked the judge to hand down an 18-year sentence for her, but that outcome became unlikely after Rhodes’ received that identical prison term on Thursday, some seven years lower than the government requested. Watkins’ sentence was always expected to be far lighter than the Oath Keepers leader’s.
Jessica Watkins told U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta that her actions were “reprehensible,” and apologized for the impact that her conduct had on the country.
“My actions and my behaviors that fateful day were wrong, and as I now understand, criminal,” she said. “Violence is never the answer.”
Watkins, recalling her testimony during her trial, said once again that she was “just another idiot” running around the Capitol on Jan. 6, and apologized to the officers.