US District Judge Timothy Kelly sentenced Army veteran Wiliam “Billy” Chrestman to four and half years in prison Friday for protesting the stolen election outside of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Prosecutors sought 63 months, or more than five years, for Chrestman.
“I honestly feel I’ve spent more than enough time behind bars,” Chrestman told The Gateway Pundit hours after he was sentenced. “I’ve been in the DC Gulag for three years. I committed no violence or vandalism on January 6th 2021.”
“I’m charged with 1512, interrupting an official proceeding,” he said in a statement when he returned to the DC gulag from the federal courthouse. “Yet I never went near Congress or the House Floor. I stayed only in public areas, with permission from three separate police officers. Yet, there are a lot of cases of people with the 1512 charge as well as violent 111A charges that got half the time I did.”
“I honestly feel I am sentenced for what I said and as a Proud Boy, who I am.”
The government contends Chrestman “conspired” to overthrow the US government on January 6 during a premeditated “insurrection” while wielding just the wooden handle of an axe.
Because, when combat veterans plan an “insurrection” to “violently overthrow the US government,” they leave all their axes with blades, and firearms, at home.
At one point during the rally, Chrestman used the axe handle to prevent a barrier from lowering and closing in the tunnels under the Capitol, demonstrating “a de facto leadership role” for the Proud Boys and serving as “the primary coordinator” of their efforts to disrupt police, prosecutors argued in a February 2021 court filing.
Chrestman led fellow Proud Boys and others into the Capitol, prosecutors argued In their sentencing memo.
“After a group of rioters breached through the police barricade, Chrestman, brandishing a two-foot-long axe handle, quickly moved to the front of the rioters who were pursuing the retreating officers,” the government attorneys wrote. “Once police officers were able to briefly stop the rioters, Chrestman continued to encourage other rioters forward and then urged them to stop the arrest of another rioter. Later, while standing in front of another police line, Chrestman threatened officers with violence and rallied rioters to take back ‘your house.’”
Chrestman has no prior criminal record before being entrapped by the Biden regime during the fedsurrection. He has been incarcerated without bond since he was apprehended by the FBI in a predawn raid in February 2021.
His attorney, Michael J. Cronkright, argued during the sentencing hearing that Chrestman has reflected on his “brief” involvement with the Proud Boys over the past three years of incarceration and how he wound up at the Capitol on Jan.6 and sought a time-served sentence that would have avoided additional prison time.
“The reality is nothing makes this OK. And Mr. Chrestman is here to take responsibility,” told Judge Kelly. “As he’s been confronted with the evidence, he’s had to reconcile the person he sees in the mirror and the person he sees in the images from that day,” Cronkright said.
Judge Kelly told Chrestman he was lucky there was no evidence he ever used the ax handle he carried to strike police.
Kelly then granted Chrestman the unusual privilege of hugging two of his daughters who were in the courtroom before he was shackled and thrown back in the dungeon, noting, “You showed remorse to me here today.”
Chrestman will receive credit for the approximately three years he’s already served in detention since his arrest. He asked the court to allow him to serve his sentence in a Bureau of Prisons facility near his family’s home in Oklahoma.
Facing the prospect of going more than a decade without seeing his children like the members of the Proud Boy were handed the lengthiest sentence to date, Chrestman opted for a plea deal in September.
On Oct. 16, he pleaded guilty to obstructing the joint session of Congress and threatening to assault a federal officer during the riot.
“There’s no livelihood anymore. To be honest with you, the only thing I have left is my family and that’s because my wife and kids are amazing,” he told TGP after he took the plea deal. “Even though they — everything has been taken from all of us — our house that our kids grew up in — God, I’ve had that house for over 18 years. It’s gone.”
Judge Timothy Kelly made an example of other members of the Proud Boys days before Chrestman took the plea deal. In early September, Kelly took glee in handing member Enrique Tarrio, the group’s former national chairman, 22 years in prison following his conviction on seditious conspiracy and multiple other felony charges, the longest sentences to date in connection with Jan. 6.
Proud Boys organizer Joe Biggs, a former InfoWars reporter who, like Chrestman, served in the U.S. Army, was sentenced to 17 years in prison. Ethan Nordean, a Proud Boys leader from Washington, was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Zachary Rehl, a Marine Corps veteran and Proud Boy leader from Philadelphia, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Dominic Pezzola, a Marine Corps veteran who broke a window with a police shield, was sentenced to 10 years.
As TGP has reported, Chrestman, a father of 5 and grandfather of 4, has witnessed men getting beaten within an inch of their lives while detained in the Washington DC Correctional Treatment Facility.
His wife and kids are on the brink of homelessness as the breadwinner in their family endures pretrial detention in the DC gulag for month 33.
To make ends meet, Chrestman’s wife resigned to selling the house he bought his family 18 years ago. His children are now separated from their mother living in different homes with different relatives as Chrestman struggles to afford commissary and foot the neverending expense of using the jail-authorized tablet to stay in communication with his loved ones.
In the weeks leading up to his arrest, Chrestman saw the reports about demonstrators getting locked up for their role in the Capitol riot but never fathomed the United States government would deem protesting domestic terror.
Nor did he suspect the FBI and the country he served would wage a terror attack against his family and prosecute him for “Conspiracy; Obstruction of an Official Proceeding and Aiding and Abetting; Obstruction of Law Enforcement During Civil Disorder and Aiding and Abetting; Threatening a Federal Officer; Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds and Carrying a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon; Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds and Carrying a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon for his protesting.”
On Feb. 11, 2021, around 4:30 a.m., Chrestman and his wife awoke to an explosion –flash bangs ignited by federal agents as they barged into his house during the last moments he would spend in the home he will never return to.
Still haunted by the life-altering predawn raid, Chrestman recalled the morning federal agents wielded machine guns at him in a stick-up he compares to military forces taking down Sadam Hussein.
“I woke up to flashbang grenades, pounding at the door, all kinds of squad cars parked across the street, in my lawn — around the block,” the January 6 defendant told TGP in October.