Dozens of uniformed and plain-clothed U.S. Capitol Police officers attended the packed sentencing hearing for two of the more than 950 people who have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol. The defendants' distinction: their roles in the assault of Officer Brian Sicknick, who died the next day. The man who carried out the pepper-spray attack, Julian Khater, 32, and had previously pleaded guilty was sentenced to 80 months in prison and a $10,000 fine, Reuters reports. Khater told U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan the rash actions he took that day were not in his nature. "I've taken every chance I possibly could to better myself as a person," said Khater. "What happened on Jan. 6 — there are no words for it ... I wish I could take it back." George Tanios, 41, of Morgantown, West Virginia, who traveled to Washington with Khater and supplied the pepper spray Khater used, was sentenced at the same hearing to time served and 100 hours of community service, after he pleaded guilty last year to misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct on restricted grounds.
Sicknick, 42, died of a stroke. Although the medical examiner, Francisco J. Diaz, later attributed his death to natural causes, he told the Washington Post he believed "all that transpired" on Jan. 6 played a role in his death. Four participants died during the chaos and five police officers, including Sicknick, died afterward, some by suicide. Five of Sicknick's relatives and Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who was also a victim of Khater's pepper spray attack, addressed the court. "You attacked my son like he was an animal," said Brian Sicknick's mother Gladys Sicknick, who wore an oversized long-sleeve shirt that she said belonged to her son. "You are the animal, Mr. Khater." Edwards, who received the Presidential Citizens Medal earlier this year for her bravery during the Capitol attack, tearfully told the judge she suffers from "survivor's guilt" over her colleague's death. "I felt like the worst kind of officer," she said. "Someone who didn't help their friend —couldn't help their friend."