INDIANAPOLIS – A man from Vincennes has been sentenced to three years’ probation for his part in the Jan. 6 riot during which the crowd stormed the U.S. Capitol.
U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols spared Jonathan Ace Sanders prison time after Sanders pleaded guilty this month to one count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. Three other charges were dropped as a result.
The Indianapolis Star reports that video footage showed Sanders in the Capitol that day. But the FBI investigation in Sanders' activities began after it received a tip that Sanders was in a Vincennes bakery bragging about being within 70 feet of protester Ashli Babbitt when Capitol police fatally shot her.
The 61-year-old Sanders told investigators he drove to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 5 with two friends to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally to support President Donald Trump, who lost re-election the previous November. He said he followed a crowd into the Capitol and “also heard that a lady was shot.”
Sanders also must pay a $500 fine and perform 60 hours of community service.
The judge denied the government's request to put Sanders on home detention for two months. Prosecutors contended that as a military veteran – Sanders served in the U.S. Air Force veteran – that Sanders was well aware of the potential danger of his “violent entry into the Capitol.”