Owen Shroyer, a well-known host of the far-right media platform InfoWars, has been sentenced to 60 days in prison for his involvement in the events that took place at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. Unlike many of the others charged in connection with the incident, Shroyer was not physically present inside the building, nor was he directly involved in any violent actions or destruction. However, he still faced legal action due to his prior commitment.
In 2019, Shroyer had entered into a deferred prosecution agreement following his disruption of a congressional session. As part of this agreement, he pledged not to incite disorder or use aggressive language on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. Despite this prior commitment, Shroyer found himself facing charges for his actions on January 6.
The events of that day led to over 1,100 individuals facing charges, with more than 600 of them already receiving sentences. Out of those sentences, more than 370 have involved jail time. Shroyer’s case stands out due to the absence of physical presence or direct involvement in violent acts.
During the incident, Shroyer was heard using a megaphone to address the crowd, expressing his beliefs that Democrats were posing as communists and proclaiming, “And so today, on January 6, we declare death to tyranny! Death to tyrants!” The prosecution argued that his rhetoric had influenced others to trespass the Capitol, leading them to push for a four-month jail sentence.
The defense, on the other hand, presented a different narrative of Shroyer’s presence at the scene. They portrayed him as an impassioned citizen who was convinced of election tampering and as a journalist seeking to observe a historically significant event. Throughout the proceedings, the defense stressed their cooperation with the government.
During the final hearing, Shroyer distanced himself from any organized plans of illicit activities or acts of aggression on January 6. The decision on his sentence was ultimately made by U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, who had recently handed down a historic 22-year sentence to Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio.
The case of Owen Shroyer highlights the complex legal challenges surrounding the events of January 6. While he was not physically present in the Capitol and did not directly participate in violent actions, his rhetoric and influence on others led to his conviction and subsequent prison sentence. As more cases related to January 6 continue to be prosecuted, the consequences for those involved will continue to unfold.