Kentucky couple who were part of mob that stormed the Capitol receive sentence

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A Western Kentucky couple who participated in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol were sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

Both Thomas and Lori Vinson were sentenced to five years’ probation, fined $5,000 and ordered to pay restitution of $500, court records show.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton also ordered the Vinsons to perform 120 hours of community service, the Associated Press reported.

The couple, from Morganfield in Union County, appeared in court via video and apologized for their actions, the AP reported.

The Vinsons were arrested in February. In July, they each pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.

Lori Vinson, a nurse, posted on Facebook about her participation in the event and made headlines when she was fired from Ascension St. Vincent hospital in Evansville, Ind., soon after the Capitol was stormed.

She told Evansville television station WFIE at the time that she did not have any regrets “Because I was there for a peaceful protest and that’s what I was doing,” Vinson said. “I felt like I have done nothing wrong and I wouldn’t change it.”

“I hope that is something I remember and say, ‘I’m glad I was a part of that 30 years from now,’” she said.

In a letter dated Oct. 10, Lori Vinson wrote that she is now “sorry for what happened that day and for those that were hurt.”

“I did not realize the extent of the violence until after we left the Capitol on January 6th,” she wrote. “I made statements to the media that I regret. When I made them I was angry for losing my job. When I said my actions were justified and I would do it again tomorrow, it was a reaction to my job loss. Also, I did not mean that any of the violence was justified or that I would go into the Capitol again. I meant that I would protest again. I do not agree with or support the violence that day. Now, I do not even want to participate in any protests.”

She stated in the letter that she now works for a home health company.

The government had asked the judge to sentence Lori Vinson to 30 days in jail and $500 restitution, and they wanted Thomas Vinson to serve three months of home detention and three years’ probation, including 60 hours of community service, and pay $500 restitution.

In sentencing memorandums, government attorneys said the Jan. 6 riot was “a violent attack that forced an interruption of the certification of the 2020 Electoral College vote count, threatened the peaceful transfer of power after the 2020 Presidential election, injured more than one hundred law enforcement officers, and resulted in more than a million dollars’ worth of property damage.”

While the U.S. Attorney’s Office said their was no information indicating that the couple engaged in violence or destructive behavior, they wrote in each case that “the Court must consider that the defendant’s conduct on Jan. 6, like the conduct of scores of other defendants, took place in the context of a large and violent riot that relied on numbers to overwhelm law enforcement, breach the Capitol, and disrupt the proceedings. Without (their) actions alongside so many others’, the riot likely would have failed.”