JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A Mississippi man and his cousin from Alabama have been sentenced for assaulting police at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Thomas Smith, 45, of Mathiston, Mississippi, was sentenced to 108 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release. A jury convicted Smith of 11 charges, including nine felonies and two misdemeanors, on May 5, 2023.
Donnie Wren, 44, of Athens, Alabama, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison and 24 months of supervised release. A jury convicted Wren of two felonies and one misdemeanor on May 5, 2023.
According to court documents, the two men traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend a rally held by former President Trump. After the rally, the two made their way toward the U.S. Capitol building.
Before entering Capitol grounds, Smith climbed a column near the African American History Museum with the outdated Mississippi state flag.
Smith and Wren made their way to the Lower West Terrace Tunnel. Smith pushed toward the front of a group of rioters and used a flagpole like a spear to try to break a window next to the Lower West Terrace doors.
Prosecutors said Smith thrust his flagpole at the window five times. He then surged through the doorway, where he and a mass of other rioters pushed into a line of Metropolitan Police Department officers attempting to hold the door shut.
Smith exited the Tunnel and reunited with his cousin, Wren. The two posed for a photograph together on the Lower West Terrace.
According to court documents, Smith and Wren then climbed up a railing to the Upper West Terrace and confronted a line of police officers using riot shields and attempting to clear the area. Smith later kicked a Metropolitan Police Department in the back and threw a metal pole-like object toward the line of police. Two officers were struck in the head.