Jan 6. defendant unleashes courtroom rant at sentencing hearing, attacking everything from groceries and gas prices to the prosecutors trying her case

  • A Jan. 6 defendant unleashed a scathing diatribe during her sentencing hearing last week.

  • Audrey Southard-Rumsey, who was found guilty of seven Jan. 7 charges, called prosecutors "liars."

  • A judge ultimately sentenced her to six years in prison.

A Florida music instructor who used a flagpole to attack a police officer during the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot, was sentenced to six years in prison last week after forgoing her prepared remarks and unleashing an expletive-filled diatribe in court.

Audrey Southard-Rumsey, 54, was found guilty in January of seven charges related to the insurrection, including three counts of assaulting police officers, three counts of civil disorder, and one count of obstruction.

Prosecutors say Southard-Rumsey was in the thick of the action on Jan. 6, posting selfies from the Capitol, calling for a revolution on social media, and using a flagpole to threaten a Capitol Police sergeant, which caused him to fall and hit his head on the base of a marble statue.

Southard-Rumsey was also caught on video yelling sexist and lewd threats toward then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to a criminal complaint. Prosecutors said she riled up a mob of people outside the Speaker's Lobby during the siege while frightened lawmakers huddled inside — a charge that prompted US District Judge Amit Mehta to tack on a rare "terrorism enhancement" to her sentence, according to CBS News.

But when Southard-Rumsey had her opportunity to speak in court during her Friday sentencing hearing, she took the time not to apologize or ask for leniency, as many other Jan. 6 defendants have previously done, but to deliver a 15-minute scathing diatribe that touched on everything from inflation to Antifa.

During the tirade, Southard-Rumsey called the prosecutors who tried her case "liars." Several times she spoke directly to Judge Mehta, insisting that her life was being taken from her simply "because people have different politics than mine," the outlet reported.

"I wanted to tell you exactly what you want to hear, but I won't," Southard-Rumsey told the judge, per CBS. "I won't lie. There were vicious lies about me."

Audrey Southard-Rumsey, 54, was found guilty in January of seven charges related to the insurrection
Audrey Southard-Rumsey refused to apologize for her conduct on Jan. 6 during her sentencing hearing.DOJ

She also listed off her own set of grievances, including her belief that "they don't listen to us little people in the regular world," saying she was ashamed of the US, the outlet reported.

Her own defense attorney even approached the podium at one point to encourage her to end the rant, according to CBS. Southard-Rumsey finally concluded her speech, which also touched on rising gas and grocery prices, by saying: "It's not fair."

The display stands in stark contrast to the remorseful, repentant approach many Jan. 6 defendants have taken during their sentencing hearings.

Prosecutors urged the judge not to grant Southard-Rumsey leniency following her outburst, CBS reported, and Mehta unleashed his own denunciation, calling her a "one-person wrecking crew."

The judge sentenced her to 72 months in prison, as well as 36 months of supervised release and $2,000 in restitution.

But even as Southard-Rumsey left the courthouse on Friday, she maintained her protestations, telling a group of reporters that they are "fucking liars" who "should be ashamed" of themselves: "You're why we're in this mess," she said, per CBS.

Lawyers for Southard-Rumsey did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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