Dustin Byron Thompson Wiki
Dustin Byron Thompson Biography
Who is Dustin Byron Thompson ?
An Ohio man who said he was just “following presidential orders” when he stormed the Capitol and stole a coat rack and a bottle of bourbon was quickly convicted Thursday of obstructing Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.
Dustin Byron Thompson, 38, was found guilty on all six counts against him, including theft of government property and disorderly conduct or disorderly conduct of a building or restricted land. The jury took less than three hours to deliberate.
The FBI had found cell phone footage of Thompson inside the ransacked Senate MP’s office yelling: ‘Wooooo! ‘Merica Hey! This is our house!’
Arrested and Charged
Thompson now faces 20 years in prison on the obstruction charge, the only felony. He will remain in jail until his sentencing on July 20.
More than 770 Capitol protesters have been charged with crimes, but only three cases have gone to jury trial. Most have entered guilty pleas to prosecutors.
Thompson drove from Ohio to Washington with a friend, Robert Lyon, who was also arrested less than a month after the riot. Lyon pleaded guilty in March to two misdemeanors – theft of government property and disorderly conduct – and will be sentenced on June 3.
Thompson and Lyon took an Uber ride to Washington on the morning of January 6. After Trump’s speech, they headed to the Capitol.
Thompson was wearing a bulletproof vest when he entered the building and went to the parliamentarian’s office. The FBI said agents then searched Lyon’s cellphone and found video showing a ransacked office and Thompson yelling, ‘Wooooo! ‘Merica Hey! This is our house!’
Jurors rejected Thompson’s novel defense, in which he blamed Trump and members of the president’s inner circle for the insurrection and for his own actions.
The judge didn’t buy it either, but blamed Trump after the verdict was announced.
“I think our democracy is in trouble,” District Judge Reggie Walton said, adding that “quacks” like Trump don’t care about democracy, only about power.
“And as a result of that, he is tearing our country apart,” the judge said.
Prosecutors did not ask for Thompson to be detained immediately, but Walton ordered him held and led away in handcuffs.
The judge said he didn’t believe Thompson’s story, he felt he was a flight risk and a danger to the public. Sentencing was set for July 20.
He faces up to 20 years on the obstruction charge, but the highest sentence handed down for the riots so far has been five years for Robert Palmer, who threw a fire extinguisher at police officers.
District Judge Reggie Walton said, “I think our democracy is in trouble,” adding that “quacks” like Trump “don’t care about democracy but only about power.”
Thompson’s jury trial was only the third of hundreds of Capitol riot cases prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice. In the first two cases, jurors convicted both defendants on all counts. .
Thompson was the first Capitol riot defendant to mount a trial defense blaming Trump and members of his inner circle for the insurrection.
Jurors heard closing arguments from attorneys earlier in the day.
Assistant U.S. Attorney William Dreher said Thompson, a college-educated exterminator who lost his job during the COVID-19 pandemic, knew he was breaking the law when he joined the mob that attacked the Capitol and, in his case, looted the seat of the senate parliamentarian. office.
The prosecutor told the jury that Thompson’s attorney “wants you to think you have to choose between President Trump and his client.”
‘You don’t have to choose because this is not President Trump’s trial. This is Dustin Thompson’s trial for what he did on Capitol Hill on the evening of January 6,” Dreher said.
Defense attorney Samuel Shamansky said Thompson has not shied away from taking responsibility for his conduct that day.
“This shameful chapter of our history is all on television,” Shamansky told the jury.
But he said Thompson, unemployed and consumed by a steady diet of conspiracy theories, was vulnerable to Trump’s lies about a stolen election. He described Thompson as a “pawn” and Trump as a “gangster” who abused his power to manipulate his supporters.
“The vulnerable are seduced by the strong, and that’s what happened here,” Shamansky said.
Thompson’s jury trial is the third of hundreds of Capitol riot cases prosecuted by the Justice Department. In the first two cases, juries convicted the defendants on all counts.
Judge Walton barred Thompson’s attorney from calling Trump and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani as witnesses in the trial.
But the judge ruled that jurors could listen to recordings of speeches Trump and Giuliani made on January 6, before the riots broke out. A recording of Trump’s remarks was played.
Last month, a jury convicted a Texas man, Guy Reffitt, of holding up the building with a holstered handgun.
A judge who heard testimony without a jury decided the cases against two other Capitol riot defendants in separate trials.
US District Judge Trevor McFadden acquitted one of them of all charges and partially acquitted the other.
Dustin Thompson Quick and Facts
- Dustin Thompson, 38, was found guilty on all six counts in less than three hours
- He stole a coat rack and a bottle of bourbon from a ransacked Senate office
- He faces 20 years in prison for obstructing Congress from certifying the election
- Thompson argued that he was only ‘following presidential orders’ from Trump
- Judge Reggie Walton called Trump a ‘charlatan’ who’s ‘tearing our country apart’