Judge Overrules Prosecutors, Hands Jan 6 Defendant Huge Break At Sentencing: “I’m giving you a real break here”

A federal judge overruled prosecutors and showed some compassion to a Jan 6 defendant who suffers from Aspergers. U.S. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden ruled Nicholas Rodean of Frederick, Md. will not have to do years in prison and sentenced him to 240 days of home confinement and 5 years of probation.

Washington Post reporter Tom Jackman detailed what happened in the court: “Just watched an amazing sentencing of Jan. 6 defendant Nicholas Rodean, who is on the autism spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome. He smashed two windows at the Capitol and was convicted in a one-day bench trial. The government sought 57 months in prison.

“I did not watch his trial, but he was photographed alongside Jacob Chansley, the QAnon shaman. His lawyer and family said he is a ‘maniacal rule follower’ who truly did just follow the crowd from the Capitol, and whose support systems collapsed in the pandemic.

“Then it came time for him to speak. He rambled about antifa and BLM and what he did and that he was very sorry for his crimes. 

“It was heartbreakingly obvious that he had Asperger’s. 

“He covered his ears when his lawyer tried to help. 

“Then Judge Trevor McFadden asked one question.

“In the tone you would use with a 9-year-old, the judge asked: ‘Mr. Rodean, are you ever going to do this again?’

“’Rodean said no.’

“I thought I was going to cry. His lawyer had pointed out that prison for him would be horrendous. McFadden agreed.

“McFadden had earlier reduced the sentencing range to 21-27 months, which the prosecutor said was fine. 

“McFadden then went below that, and gave Rodean eight months of home detention, with 30 minutes of internet per day, and five years of probation.

“I’m doing this primarily because of the impact Asperger’s had on your actions,” McFadden said. 

“Rodean was allowed to keep his job as a dog walker, his family promised to be hyper vigilant. 

“It seemed exactly the right outcome, from a judge often criticized as a ‘Trump appointee.’”

According to Politico:

Rodean’s parents sat in the courtroom during the sentencing proceedings, and his sister Kimberly addressed McFadden, during which she expressed worry that prison would devastate her brother’s mental health and sideline his newly successful dog-walking business.

“Autistic people do not fare well in prison,” she said.

But it was Rodean’s own statement to the judge that appeared to be most affecting. For nearly 15 minutes, Rodean struggled to articulate his conduct on Jan. 6, describing how he consumed an intense amount of media about the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests that, at times, led to rioting.

On Jan. 6, he took an Uber to the Stop the Steal rally at which Trump appeared, and then marched along with the crowd.

Someone then handed him an object that he used to smash the two windows that had already been struck by other rioters.

“I am really sorry about breaking the window,” he said. “I am really sorry about other crimes that I did.”

“Are you ever going to do anything like this again?” McFadden asked him.

“No,” Rodean replied.