A former Virginia police officer who pleaded guilty to storming the united states capitol with another off-duty officer deserves to avoid a prison sentence for his cooperation and testimony at trial against the other officer, federal prosecutors argued in a court filing Tuesday.
Department of Justice prosecutors recommended six months probation along with a period of home detention or “community confinement” for former Rocky Mount police officer Jacob Fracker. He pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiring with a former colleague, Thomas Robertson, to prevent Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.
Prosecutors have recommended an eight-year prison sentence for Robertsonwho was convicted by a jury of attacking the Capitol to prevent Congress from certifying the Electoral College vote on January 6, 2021.
Robertson is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday and Fracker next Tuesday.
Sentencing guidelines calculated by the court’s probation department recommend that Fracker receive a prison sentence of 15 to 21 months. His attorney requested a sentence of house arrest, probation and community service.
US District Judge Christopher Cooper is not bound by either recommendation when sentencing Robertson and Fracker.
Fracker was scheduled to stand trial along with Robertson before he pleaded guilty in March. He described Robertson as his mentor and a father figure to him.
Prosecutors said they would not have known that Robertson destroyed two cellphones containing incriminating photos and videos taken on Jan. 6 without Fracker’s “exhaustive” cooperation.
“In addition, Fracker’s testimony substantially helped establish Robertson’s corrupt intent to obstruct the process,” prosecutors wrote. “Prior to Fracker’s cooperation, evidence of Robertson’s intent was based on his social media posts, which Robertson tried to dismiss as online bragging.”
Fracker testified at Robertson’s trial that he initially believed he was simply trespassing when he entered the Capitol building. But he eventually pleaded guilty to conspiring with Robertson to obstruct Congress.
Under questioning by one of Robertson’s attorneys, Fracker said he had no “verbal agreement” with anyone to obstruct the joint session of Congress. Fracker said he believed everyone in the mob “pretty much had the same goal” and didn’t need it “said out loud.”
Robertson did not testify at his trial before a jury convicted him in April of all six counts of his indictment, including charges that he interfered with police officers on Capitol Hill and entered a restricted area with a dangerous weapon, a large wooden stick. .
If an eight-year prison sentence were handed down for Robertson, it would be the longest among hundreds of Capitol riot cases. The longest so far is seven years and three months for Guy Reffitt, a Texas man who stormed the Capitol armed with a holstered pistol.
Robertson traveled to Washington, DC, on the morning of January 6 with Fracker and a third man, a neighbor. They donned gas masks as they approached the Capitol and joined the crowd of rioters.
Fracker said he and Robertson believed the 2020 presidential election had been stolen from former President Donald Trump.
The town fired Robertson and Fracker after the riot. Rocky Mount is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Roanoke and has approximately 5,000 residents.