Speed Reads


81-year-old Army vet sentenced to 3 years probation for role in Capitol riot

One of the oldest people facing charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, 81-year-old Army veteran Gary Wickersham, was sentenced on Tuesday to three years probation for illegally breaching the Capitol.

Wickersham must also spend 90 days under home detention and pay a $2,000 fine and $500 for damages done to the building. After the riot, the FBI was notified that on Jan. 6, Wickersham texted a friend to say he was inside the Capitol. Later, agents spotted Wickersham on security footage from inside the building. During an interview with agents, Wickersham said he was allowed to be in the Capitol because he's a taxpayer, and he believed law enforcement purposely let the mob in so supporters of former President Donald Trump could be arrested.

Before his sentencing, Wickersham told the court he "shouldn't have been in there," and said he traveled from his home in Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C., because when you're older and spend long stretches of time at home, "you get bored." He asked for mercy and said he looks at his participation in the riot "as a dark blot in comparison to serving my country for three years back in the '60s."

Judge Royce Lamberth, 78, told Wickersham that he is "the first defendant I've had that's older than me in quite some time." Lamberth also said he appreciates that Wickersham "led the way for others to recognize that the jig is up," and while he wishes "you didn't stay there as long as you did ... when you saw what was going on, you left, and that's why I'm doing what I'm doing."