Maine Capitol Rioter, Kyle Fitzsimons, Sentenced to 7 Years for Attacking Officers and Attempting to Overturn Democracy

Kyle Fitzsimons, a 39-year-old man from Maine, has been sentenced to 87 months, or seven years and three months, in federal prison for his involvement in the January 6th Capitol riot. This sentence is less than half of what prosecutors had requested. Fitzsimons has already served 29 months, or two years and five months, in jail since his arrest, which means he could potentially be freed in less than five years. The sentence was imposed by Judge Rudolph Contreras, who found Fitzsimons guilty on all 11 counts, including seven felonies, in a trial last summer. The sentencing took place at the end of a three-hour hearing on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

Federal prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence Fitzsimons to 15-and-a-half years in prison for violently trying to overturn democracy and assaulting law enforcement officers, as seen in the extensive Capitol surveillance and police body camera videos. Contreras stated that the federal guidelines pointed to a sentence range of 121 to 151 months, or 10 to 12 1/2 years, but he decided to depart from that range.

During the hearing, Fitzsimons, wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, addressed the court for four minutes, expressing remorse for his actions. He tearfully apologized to the court, his family, and anyone else he may have disappointed. The trial evidence and testimony showed Fitzsimons engaging in a four-minute spree of violence, which the judge referred to as “a single burst of frenzied fury.” He threw a wooden arrow bow like a spear, striking a Washington Metropolitan police officer in the head. He also pulled the mask off another officer, causing him to inhale pepper spray, and dragged a Capitol Police sergeant to the ground by his riot shield strap, injuring his shoulder. Additionally, Fitzsimons waded into the group of officers guarding the Capitol’s western terrace entrance, attacking them with his fists.

Aquilino Gonell, the former sergeant who was injured by Fitzsimons, testified during the trial, stating that the defendant’s actions had changed the course of his life. Gonell revealed that during the chaos, he considered shooting Fitzsimons but refrained from doing so. Prosecutor Michael Gordon described January 6th as one of the darkest days in American history, with Fitzsimons at the center of it, calling him a “one man wrecking ball.”

Defense attorney Jonathan McDonald, a federal public defender, argued that Fitzsimons had been “delusional” and believed he was following the orders of former President Trump to stop the certification of his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden by storming the Capitol. Fitzsimons admitted his wrongdoing, stating that he initially resisted believing that he had endangered the republic but now understands the truth.

Fitzsimons did not testify at the trial and waived his right to a jury decision. Judge Contreras noted that Fitzsimons and other rioters engaged in “brutal hand-to-hand combat described as medieval in nature,” resulting in over 100 officers being injured. As of now, 1,069 individuals from nearly all 50 states have been charged in the January 6th investigation, with 594 having pleaded guilty. Fitzsimons is one of 98 defendants who were convicted at a contested trial. Six other men from Maine have also been charged in connection with the riot. Fitzsimons, who moved to Maine with his wife and daughter, expressed regret for missing out on his daughter’s early years and stated his eagerness to rebuild his home and family after serving his sentence.