WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal jury on Monday convicted a New York Police Division veteran of assaulting an officer throughout the U.S. Capitol riot, rejecting his declare that he was defending himself when he tackled the officer and grabbed his gasoline masks.
Thomas Webster, a 20-year NYPD veteran, was the primary Capitol riot defendant to be tried on an assault cost and the primary to current a jury with a self-defense argument.
Webster, 56, testified that he was trying to protect himself from a “rogue cop” who punched him within the face. He additionally accused the Metropolitan Police Division officer, Noah Rathbun, of instigating the confrontation.
Rathbun testified that he didn’t punch or decide a struggle with Webster as a violent mob attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, disrupting Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential election victory over then-President Donald Trump.
Webster’s jury trial was the fourth for a Capitol riot case. The primary three defendants to get a jury trial had been convicted of all costs of their respective indictments. A choose determined two different instances with no jury, acquitting one of many defendants and partially acquitting the opposite.
A grand jury indicted Webster on six counts, together with a cost that he assaulted Rathbun with a harmful weapon, a steel flag pole. Webster wasn’t accused of getting into the Capitol on Jan. 6.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows under.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Jurors deliberated on Monday within the federal trial of a New York Police Division veteran charged with assaulting an officer who tried to guard the Capitol from an attacking insurrectionist mob final yr.
Thomas Webster, a 20-year NYPD veteran, is the primary Capitol riot defendant to be tried on an assault cost and the primary to current a jury with a self-defense argument.
Jurors heard attorneys’ closing arguments on Friday and went house for the weekend about half-hour after getting the case. They returned to court docket on Monday morning.
Webster’s jury trial, which started April 26, is the fourth for a Capitol riot case. The primary three defendants to get a jury trial had been convicted of all costs of their respective indictments. A choose determined two different instances with no jury, acquitting one defendant and partially acquitting the opposite after bench trials.
Webster, 56, is charged with assaulting Metropolitan Police Division Officer Noah Rathbun with a harmful weapon, a steel flagpole, throughout the Jan. 6, 2021, riot.
Movies present Webster swing his steel flagpole at police, cost at Rathbun after which seize the officer’s gasoline masks with each arms.
Webster testified on Thursday that he was making an attempt to guard himself from Rathbun after the officer punched him within the face. Webster additionally accused Rathbun of constructing a hand gesture that Webster perceived as an invite to struggle.
Rathbun testified that he didn’t punch or decide a struggle with Webster. Rathbun’s physique digicam captured Webster shouting profanities and insults earlier than they made any bodily contact. Rathbun mentioned he was making an attempt to maneuver Webster again from a safety perimeter that he and different officers had been struggling to keep up.
Prosecutors urged jurors to reject Webster’s self-defense argument and convict him of all six costs in his indictment.
Webster, who lives close to Goshen, New York, retired from the NYPD in 2011. He served within the U.S. Marine Corps from 1985 to 1989 earlier than becoming a member of the NYPD in 1991.
The violent Jan. 6 mob, loyal to then-President Donald Trump, stormed the Capitol in an try and overturn the 2020 presidential election, undercut the nation’s democracy and maintain Democrat Joe Biden from changing the Republican within the White Home.
Greater than 780 individuals have been charged with riot-related federal crimes. The Justice Division says greater than 245 of them have been charged with assaulting or impeding regulation enforcement.