sunny.png
Monday August 15th, 2022 5:29PM

Man who parked weapons near Capitol on 1/6 gets prison

By The Associated Press

An Alabama man who parked a pickup truck filled with weapons and Molotov cocktail components near the U.S. Capitol on the day of last year's riot was sentenced Friday to nearly four years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said she still hasn't heard an explanation for why Lonnie Leroy Coffman had “almost a small armory in his truck, ready to do battle.” She sentenced Coffman to three years and 10 months in prison, giving him credit for the more than one year he already has served since his arrest.

Coffman, 72, of Falkville, Alabama, said he never intended to hurt anybody or destroy any property. He said he drove to Washington alone “to try to discover just how true and secure was the (2020 presidential) election.”

“If I had any idea that things would turn out like they did, I would have stayed home,” he wrote in a handwritten letter to the judge.

More than 770 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riot, when supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the building in an effort to disrupt lawmakers' formal certification of his reelection defeat. Five people died and scores of Capitol Police officers were seriously injured.

Over 240 participants in the attack have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanors punishable by a maximum of six months imprisonment. More than 130 have been sentenced. Coffman is one of nine defendants whose prison sentence exceeds one year.

Coffman, a Vietnam War veteran who served in the U.S. Army, pleaded guilty in November to possession of an unregistered firearm and carrying a pistol without a license. He was carrying a loaded handgun and revolver without a license as he walked in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021, according to prosecutors. He isn't accused of entering the Capitol or joining the mob during the riot that day.

When Coffman parked his truck a few blocks from the Capitol on the morning of Jan. 6, it contained a handgun, a rifle, a shotgun, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, a crossbow, machetes, a stun gun and a cooler containing eleven mason jars with holes punched in the lids, according to prosecutors. Each jar contained a mixture of gasoline and Styrofoam, which are components of the homemade incendiary devices called Molotov cocktails, prosecutors said.

Law enforcement officers found the cache of weapons and ammunition when they searched Coffman's truck. They had been sweeping the area after pipe bombs were found near the headquarters of the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee. Later, investigators also found Molotov cocktail components at Coffman's home in Alabama.

“Possession of so much dangerous weapons in our nation's capital is uniquely offensive to our cherished, democratic political traditions,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Friedman said.

Handwritten notes found inside the vehicle included a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln that said, “We The People Are The Rightful Masters Of Both The Congress And The Courts, Not To Overthrow The Constitution But To Overthrow The Men Who Pervert The Constitution.”

The notes included a list of “good guys” and “bad guys,” with a federal judge named in the latter category, and contact information for a member of a Texas militia group known as the “American Patriots," prosecutors said.

“The handwritten notes also included an address for a reported gathering place in Texas called ‘Camp Lonestar,’ where militia groups had reportedly sought to patrol the border looking for illegal aliens,” prosecutors wrote.

Investigators had previously identified Coffman as an armed participant at Camp Lonestar, according to prosecutors.

Coffman, a retired machine operator, had travelled to Washington in December 2020 and tried to drive to the home of a U.S. senator who isn't named in a court filing by prosecutors. He also called the senator’s office in an effort to “help with the election fraud he saw.”

“A staff member at the Senator’s office recorded that the defendant seemed ‘unbalanced’ or ‘not 100% there’ during the call, but did not seem threatening,” prosecutors wrote.

Prosecutors recommended a prison sentence of approximately three years and six months. Defense attorney Manuel Retureta said a prison term wouldn't be appropriate given Coffman's age and medical condition.

Coffman didn't have a criminal record before this case.

“At my age, one of the most precious (things) we possess is time, and I have wasted almost a whole precious year,” he wrote in his letter to the judge.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
New vehicles must average 40 mpg by 2026, up from 24 mpg
New vehicles sold in the U.S. will have to travel an average of at least 40 miles per gallon of gasoline in 2026 under new rules unveiled by the government
11:36AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Officer killed in Pennsylvania was 1 month from retirement
Authorities say a police lieutenant killed on duty in Pennsylvania was one month away from retirement when a man suspected of breaking into a family member’s home opened fire on responding officers
11:13AM ( 47 minutes ago )
$14M jury award for protesters could resonate around US
A federal jury’s $14 million award to Denver protesters injured during 2020 demonstrations over the police killing of George Floyd could resonate nationwide as courts weigh more than two dozen similar lawsuits
10:23AM ( 1 hour ago )
U.S. News
Food convoy heads to Ethiopia's Tigray, 1st since December
A convoy of trucks carrying food aid has entered territory controlled by fighters loyal to the fugitive leaders of Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the first humanitarian convoy to do so since Dec. 14
11:50AM ( 10 minutes ago )
Jury hearing closing arguments in Gov. Whitmer kidnap trial
Jurors are hearing closing arguments in the trial of four men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
11:49AM ( 11 minutes ago )
UK opens criminal probe into P&O Ferries over crew firings
Britain has launched a criminal investigation has begun into P&O Ferries after the company fired almost 800 U.K.-based crew without warning so they could be replaced by cheaper contract staff
11:43AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Ukraine strike on Russian territory reported as talks resume
Talks to stop the fighting in Ukraine have resumed as another attempt to rescue civilians from the besieged port city of Mariupol broke down
10:54AM ( 1 hour ago )
Labor groups close in on Amazon in two tight union elections
Labor organizers always knew it would be tough to convince Amazon workers to unionize
10:17AM ( 1 hour ago )
Ethiopian journalist accredited to AP is released on bail
Ethiopian journalist Amir Aman Kiyaro, who is accredited to The Associated Press and has been imprisoned for four months without charges, has been released on bail
9:48AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Closing arguments next in Michigan Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot
Jurors will hear closing arguments Friday in the trial of four men accused of a brazen conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
11:49PM ( 12 hours ago )
Caseworkers: Texas order on trans kids handled differently
Some child welfare workers in Texas say they’re quitting over a new directive that allows abuse investigations into parents of transgender kids
11:48PM ( 12 hours ago )
Washington OKs 1st statewide missing Indigenous people alert
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law a bill that creates a first-in-the-nation statewide alert system for missing Indigenous people
8:09PM ( 15 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
In Serbia, pro-Russia is seen as the winning election stance
Serbia’s pro-Russia president is expected to extend his almost 10-year grip on power when the Balkan country holds national elections on Sunday
2:46AM ( 9 hours ago )
Trump's 8-hour gap: Minute-by-minute during Jan. 6 riot
Piecing together the activities of President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, 2021, is no easy task
6:55PM ( 17 hours ago )
DNC, Clinton campaign agree to Steele dossier funding fine
Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee have agreed to pay $113,000 to settle a Federal Election Commission investigation
10:47AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections
Australia to spend more on defense, security in next budget
Australia's Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the government's upcoming budget will increase spending on defense and national security while reducing household expenses
5:01AM ( 3 days ago )
Volunteer vote-counters push for Hungary election integrity
A grassroots civic initiative in Hungary has recruited more than 20,000 volunteer ballot counters to ensure a fair tally in the upcoming general election
2:09AM ( 3 days ago )
Australia to increase spending on defense and security
Australia's Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the government's upcoming budget will increase spending on defense and national security while reducing household expenses
8:42PM ( 3 days ago )
General Election News
Justice Thomas' wife long steeped in conservative politics
Through a decades-long career in conservative politics, Virginia Thomas has repeatedly maintained that her political activity represented no conflict of interest with the work of her husband, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
12:05AM ( 6 days ago )
Campaigns weigh strategy options if Ohio primary is delayed
Ohio's primary election is scheduled for May 3, and it's just six weeks away
1:14PM ( 6 days ago )
Report: Justice Thomas' wife urged overturning 2020 election
Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, sent weeks of text messages imploring White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to act to overturn the 2020 presidential election — furthering then-President Donald Trump’s lies that the free and fair vote was marred by nonexistent fraud
7:30PM ( 1 week ago )
General Presidential Election News
New vehicles must average 40 mpg by 2026, up from 24 mpg
New vehicles sold in the U.S. will have to travel an average of at least 40 miles per gallon of gasoline in 2026 under new rules unveiled by the government
11:36AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Officer killed in Pennsylvania was 1 month from retirement
Authorities say a police lieutenant killed on duty in Pennsylvania was one month away from retirement when a man suspected of breaking into a family member’s home opened fire on responding officers
11:13AM ( 48 minutes ago )
$14M jury award for protesters could resonate around US
A federal jury’s $14 million award to Denver protesters injured during 2020 demonstrations over the police killing of George Floyd could resonate nationwide as courts weigh more than two dozen similar lawsuits
10:23AM ( 1 hour ago )
Jury urged to convict 4 in plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer
Jurors are hearing closing arguments in the trial of four men accused of a brazen conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
10:13AM ( 1 hour ago )
New Mexico launches cannabis sales, within Texans' reach
New Mexico is bringing sales of recreational marijuana to the doorstep of Texas as the movement toward broad legalization sweeps across more of the American West
9:53AM ( 2 hours ago )