Mom Who Took Her Teenage Son To U.S. Capitol During Riot Sentenced to Three-Months in Prison

Virginia Marie Spencer is now the 75th of 700 people to be charged in connection to January 6

A North Carolina mother who went to the United States Capitol during the security breach on Jan. 6, 2021, with her teenage son was sentenced to three months imprisonment.

Virginia Marie Spencer and her husband,  Christopher Raphael Spencer, took their 14-year child to the Capitol during the riot last year.

Mrs. Spencer was charged with a misdemeanor for parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol. She pled guilty in September.

In her Jan. 7 ruling, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said it was “very hard to comprehend” the Spencers’ actions.

“It must have been a traumatic experience to witness this kind of violence,” the judge said. “It’s a complete lack of judgment on your part.”

Mr. Spencer is also facing charges related to the events at the Capitol. He has pled not guilty.

His wife has until February 25 to begin her 90-day sentence. Mrs. Spencer will subsequently serve three years of probation. 

Allen Orenberg, Mrs. Spencer’s attorney, had asked Judge Kollar-Kotelly for no jail time and one year of community service and probation.

In a court filing on her behalf, Orenberf said Spencer was one of “many people” who came to believe “vocal displays of outrage in the form of protesting was the only way to make their voices heard” after “months of watching our major cities burn” – a reference to the Black Live Matter riots during the summer of 2020.

“Mrs. Spencer did not come to Washington, D.C., with the intention of subverting democracy,” Orenberg wrote. He said his client went to Washington D.C. “to peacefully protest what she believed at that time to be a fraudulent election.”

According to AP News, “the Spencers and their son walked to the Capitol behind a group of members of the far-right Proud Boys” and “briefly stopped to scream profanities at a counter-protester.”

Prosecutors say the Spencers were in the Capitol building for 30 minutes and entered Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office.

“Of note, Speaker Pelosi had staff members who were trapped inside that suite as the rioters called for Speaker Pelosi steps away from them,” wrote the prosecution in court filings.

Mrs. Spencer, a mother of five and restaurant cashier from Pilot Mountain, North Carolina, was arrested in February of 2021.

She told the F.B.I. that she and her husband tried to leave the Capitol once they realized they were not allowed to be in the building. Judge Kollar-Kotelly challenged this, saying that Mr. Spencer live-streamed on Facebook while they were inside. 

The judge did note that Spencer, 38, “apologized in court on Friday but said it didn’t appear that Spencer really understood that she participated in an insurrection and not a peaceful protest,” per The Winston-Salem Journal.

Mrs. Spencer’s case was compared by prosecutors to “Boyd Camper, a Montana man who brought his 10-year-old to the Capitol on Jan. 6 but left the boy outside with a friend before storming the building,” per WJLA.

Camper was sentenced to 60 days imprisonment by a judge in December. He also agreed to pay $500 toward U.S. Capitol repair costs, which total $1.5 million. 

According to Newsweek, “Virginia Spencer was at least the 75th person sentenced regarding the Capitol riots. Over 700 people have been charged, and more than 170 people have pleaded guilty.”

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