Delaware man who stormed Capitol on Jan. 6 gets two years behind bars
Seefried offered an emotional apology and said he was deeply sorry for his actions on “a day that will forever represent a stain on the character of our country."
A southern Delaware man who cleared shattered glass from a window at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, before he and his Confederate flag-toting father stormed and paraded through the building has been sentenced to two years in federal prison.
Hunter Seefried, 24, offered an emotional apology Monday at his sentencing in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., saying he was deeply sorry for his actions on “a day that will forever represent a stain on the character of our country,” according to The Washington Post.
His remarks led federal judge Trevor N. McFadden to say Seefried’s words were “probably the most sincere and most effective” statement of apology by anyone he has sentenced for their crimes during the insurrection. The deadly riot occurred after outgoing President Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally at the Ellipse across the street from the White House.
McFadden had convicted Hunter and Kevin Seefried, 53, after a June bench trial of felony obstruction of an official proceeding – the certification of fellow Delawarean Joe Biden’s victory over Trump. The judge also convicted them of four misdemeanor offenses, including entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a Capitol Building. Kevin Seefried will be sentenced in January.
Federal prosecutors had sought a 64-month prison term for the younger Seefried, arguing that he and his father were among the first rioters to breach the Capitol that fateful day. Defense attorney Edson Bostic had urged probation for his client.
After the verdict, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement that the Seefrieds marched nearly a mile after the rally to what President Biden has called “the cradle of liberty.” Then the father-son duo “illegally entered the Capitol grounds and joined a crowd of rioters heading up the steps of the building,’’ prosecutors said.
“People near Hunter and Kevin Seefried broke windows with a police shield and a wooden two-by-four, and Hunter Seefried cleared a large piece of glass from one of those windows to clear the way,’’ prosecutors said.
The Seefrieds entered the building about 2:13 p.m., and stayed about 15 minutes, prosecutors have said. Images of Kevin Seefried waving the flag have become some of the most iconic photos of the insurrection.
The Seefrieds were also part of a larger group of rioters “who verbally confronted several U.S. Capitol Police officers near the entrance to the Senate chambers,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Federal prosecutors would not agree to an interview about the case, but Bostic said his client, a ninth-grade dropout who worked as a drywall installer, got caught up in his domineering father’s complaints about the fairness of Biden’s electoral victory over Trump.
“I really want to let the American public know how sincere this young man was in his apology to the court, to the government, and to the citizens of the United States,” Bostic told WHYY News. “He’s at heart a very decent, caring, and loving young man.”
Bostic said during the interview and in his sentencing memo that Hunter Seefried will forever regret following his father’s lead that day, when the pair were joined by Hunter’s mother and girlfriend at the rally and then split off to march together to the Capitol, where a joint session of Congress had convened.
“If he could, Hunter would start the day by sticking to his position when he earlier told his father that he did not want to go to the rally at the Capitol,” Bostic wrote in the memo arguing for probation.
“He gave in because his father, Kevin Seefried, kept pushing his desire to go and to have his family attend with him. Kevin Seefried rules over his home with an ‘it’s my way or the highway attitude.’”
Hunter didn’t follow “his gut,’’ Bostic wrote, and “now lives with a great sense of shame and an equal amount of remorse for his criminal behavior on January 6, 2021.”
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