Utahns could benefit from Supreme Court ruling on Jan. 6 defendants

Posted at 12:14 PM, Jun 28, 2024

SALT LAKE CITY — Two Jan. 6 defendants from Utah, including one already in prison, could benefit from Friday's Supreme Court ruling in which the justices believe prosecutors went too far in bringing obstruction charges against participants in the U.S. Capitol insurrection.

Utah activist John Sullivan was convicted of an obstruction count and other felonies related to having a knife during the riots. He’s currently incarcerated at a federal prison in Indiana until December 2028, but will now likely ask for a new sentencing hearing to have his six-year prison term reduced.

Brady Knowlton from the St. George-area was convicted of an obstruction count in March, as well on a misdemeanor charge for remaining on the Capitol grounds.

Knowlton is currently awaiting sentencing in August.

“Sentencing has been postponed, so we wait to see what the Supreme Court was going to do," said Knowlton's attorney Brent Mayr. “But essentially now, what we’re going to do is go back to the judge and ask the judge to set aside his felony conviction.

“The Department of Justice was using a law that was designed to prevent conduct that obstructed physical evidence.”

Mayr added that the Court said the law is not meant to be that expansive, and that it is only to apply to instances where physical evidence is impaired, obstructed or destroyed, which he claims was nothing like what happened with his client.

In all, 14 Utahns have been convicted of crimes related to the insurrection, but it does not appear that number will change as a result of Friday's ruling.