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Ex-Proud Boy Leader Sentenced to Over Three Years in Prison

A former leader of the far-right Proud Boys extremist group was sentenced on Tuesday to more than three years behind bars for joining a plot to attack the U.S. Capitol nearly three years ago, the Associated Press reports. Charles Donohoe was the second Proud Boy to plead guilty to conspiring with other group members to obstruct the Jan. 6, 2021, joint session of Congress for certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory. His sentence could be similar for other Proud Boys conspirators who agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors. Donohoe, 35, apologized to his family, the law-enforcement officers who guarded the Capitol on Jan. 6, and “America as a whole” for his actions on Jan. 6. “I knew what I was doing was illegal from the very moment those barricades got knocked down,” he said. U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly sentenced him to three years and four months in prison. Donohoe could be eligible for release in a month or two because he gets credit for the jail time he already has served since his March 2021 arrest.


On the morning of Jan. 6, Donohoe marched with over 100 members of the Proud Boys to the Capitol. He didn’t enter the Capitol, but he threw two water bottles at officers confronting the mob outside the building. Donohoe agreed to cooperate with federal authorities when he pleaded guilty in April 2022 to two felony counts: conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting, or impeding police. Prosecutors recommended a prison sentence ranging from 35 to 43 months for Donohoe. Sentencing guidelines recommended a prison term ranging from 70 to 87 months. “Donohoe and his co-conspirators organized and led a small army as they launched an attack on the heart of our democracy. They took these actions because they did not like the outcome of the election,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing. Donohoe acted as the “eyes and ears of the group on the ground” in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, Justice Department prosecutor Jason McCullough told the judge. However, prosecutors argued that Donohoe deserves credit for his early acceptance of responsibility and cooperation with the investigation.

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