A former Donald Trump supporter, who participated within the assault on the U.S. Capitol and testified earlier than the Jan. 6 Committee, was sentenced Thursday to 24 months probation and 100 hours of group service.
Stephen Ayres of Ohio pleaded responsible to 1 rely of disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted constructing in June.
Throughout a digital sentencing listening to Thursday, Ayres grew emotional as he expressed regret for his participation within the Jan. 6 assault, telling Choose John Bates that he needed to apologize to “the court docket and the American folks.”
“I went down there that day not with the intention to trigger any violence or something like that,” Ayres mentioned. “However I did get caught up on all of the stuff on-line, on Fb, which finally I felt like was steering me within the flawed route.”
Ayres remarked that he’s “over all of the division within the nation,” and mentioned that he prays each day for all members within the Jan. 6 riot in addition to “officers which can be scuffling with this” and the households of those that died on account of the assault on the Capitol.
“I simply hope at some point I can get up and never should stay with it on a regular basis, as a result of I do, on a regular basis,” Ayres mentioned.
Ayres’ spouse, Hayle, additionally implored the decide to condemn her husband to probation. She mentioned that if her husband is incarcerated, their youngsters will “really feel that burden, and I don’t need them to.”
“We vowed after we bought married that we might by no means topic our kids to a damaged dwelling,” Hayle Ayres mentioned. “And if he’s incarcerated, we may have damaged that vow.”
Final July, Ayres testified in a televised listening to earlier than the Jan. 6 committee, saying that he regrets the belief he positioned in Trump’s false claims about widespread election fraud within the 2020 election. He mentioned he misplaced his job and needed to promote his home due to his participation in Jan. 6.
“It undoubtedly modified my life, not for the great,” Ayres mentioned. “Positively not for the higher.”
Ayres, who posted a picture of a poster that includes a quote from Trump’s December 2020 “might be wild” tweet earlier than the Jan. 6 assault, informed the committee that he got here to D.C. as a result of he believed the then-president had referred to as him to take action. Ayres mentioned that Trump’s baseless claims a few stolen election made him really feel “very upset,” prompting Ayres to imagine that “I wanted to be down right here.”
Ayres informed the committee that he bought off of social media after his arrest and seemed into election-related lawsuits that had been filed, which led him to understand that Trump’s claims a few rigged election have been unsubstantiated.
In his congressional testimony, Ayres mentioned he didn’t count on to go to the Capitol when he confirmed as much as Trump’s “Cease the Steal” rally on the Ellipse on the morning of Jan. 6. However his pondering modified after Trump’s speech, which included disparaging feedback about then-Vice President Mike Pence, Ayres testified.
Ayres mentioned he and different Trump supporters on the rally went to the Capitol as a result of the president had informed them to go there.
“We principally have been simply following what he mentioned,” Ayres mentioned, including that he believed Trump would march with them to the Capitol and that it was potential for the election outcomes to be overturned.