'Gruesome' videos cited by judge in sentencing Georgia man to 4 years in Jan. 6 riot

Almost 1,400 people have been charged in the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol. On Thursday, a judge sentenced a Georgia man to more than four years in prison for assaulting Capitol police that day. File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI

May 2 (UPI) -- A judge on Thursday sentenced a Georgia man to more than four years in prison for assaulting Capitol police on Jan. 6.

Jack Wade Whitton, a 33-year-old former personal trainer from Locust Grove, Ga., had been caught on video striking police officers with a metal crutch in some of the most brutal fighting that took place at the Capitol that day.

U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras on Thursday sentenced Whitton to 57 months in prison and ordered mental-health treatment.

Whitton also must pay a $2,000 fine. His prison term will be followed by three years of supervised release.

"Those videos were gruesome," Contreras said during the hearing. "You really went out of control."

Federal prosecutors said Whitton was one of the first assailants to trigger the violent assault against officers in the lower west tunnel, where some of the worst violence took place during riot. He reportedly pulled an officer off the police line, "feeding'" him to the mob, among other violent acts he committed that day.

"You're gonna die tonight!" Whitton admitted yelling at officers during one of the assaults.

Whitton later messaged a friend on Instagram, where he referred to the officer he dragged into the mob as a "bad cop."

"I fed him to the people," the message read. "Idk his status. And I don't care tbh."

Whitton's sentencing came 19 months after he took a plea deal, agreeing to testify against his eight co-defendants charged in the same attack.

One of Whitton's co-defendants, Logan James Barnhart, a 41-year-old former romance novel cover model from Michigan, was sentenced last month to 36 months in prison for helping Whitton drag the officer into the crowd.

The two were among five men charged in August 2021 for assaulting the officer.

Federal prosecutors had sought more than eight years for Whitton and a fine of $61,685, matching an amount he had raised on the crowdfunding site GiveSendGo since his arrest.

The prosecutors argued his assault on one police officers "ignited the series of vicious assaults" on others in the lower west tunnel and that he should not be able to "capitalize" on his participation in the riot.

His lawyers blamed his actions on a cocktail of alcohol and ADHD medications. They argued he was "not interested in former President Trump or politics" and only traveled to Washington to appease his longtime girlfriend.

"Uninterested in the day's events but trying to be a good boyfriend, Mr. Whitton drank less for entertainment and more to simply get through the cold and speeches at the ellipse," his attorney, Komron Jon Maknoon, wrote.

Whitton's attorneys in March wrote that the money he had raised on GiveSendGo already had been spent on legal fees, travel expenses and a psychological exam prior to his sentencing.

Nearly 1,400 people have been charged, and 950 have been convicted, in connection to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.