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Jail time given to Utahn convicted of theft on Jan. 6

Posted at 3:17 PM, Jul 02, 2024

SALT LAKE CITY — A judge on Tuesday sentenced a South Jordan man to 30 days in jail for stealing an escape hood during the U.S. Capitol riots.

Gary R. Wilson, 55, also must serve 12 months of supervised release — similar to a probation — and pay $500 restitution. Wilson remains free and will report to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons at a later date.

“In regards to my Actions and Accountability on January 6, 2021,” Wilson wrote in a letter to the judge before Tuesday’s hearing in Washington, D.C., “I seek to follow Jesus Christ teachings and address each step of repentance.”

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Wilson wrote a list of people to whom he “caused fear and panic” at the Capitol. The list included police and soldiers, members of Congress and their staffs and Vice President Mike Pence. About a dozen family, friends and business associates also wrote the judge in support of Wilson.

Wilson and two co-defendants, Brady Knowlton, also of Utah, and Patrick Montgomery, of Colorado, entered the Senate gallery during the insurrection. At a bench trial in March, a judge convicted Wilson of theft of government property for stealing an escape hood from the gallery. The device functions similar to a gas mask.

The judge acquitted Wilson of a felony obstruction charge. Knowlton and Montgomery were convicted of that obstruction charge and other counts. However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that the obstruction statute was being too broadly applied to Jan. 6 defendants. Knowlton and Montgomery’s sentencing hearings have been rescheduled to Aug. 30.

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In briefs filed before Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, Wilson’s attorney argued for probation; no jail. He pointed out his client had no criminal history, was unlikely to reoffend and was remorseful.

Federal prosecutors asked for 10 months of jail. They contended Wilson’s theft and presence in the Senate gallery helped obstruct the certification of the presidential election.

Fourteen Utahns have been convicted of crimes related to the U.S. Capitol riot. Prosecutors have filed documents indicating a 15th defendant plans to plead guilty.

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