A Virginia man who told his wife — and a federal jury — that he had “fun” at the U.S. Capitol riot was sentenced on Friday to six years in prison for attacking police as he stormed the building.
Markus Maly’s prison sentence is significantly lower than the punishment that prosecutors sought for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. The Justice Department had recommended a prison sentence of 15 years and eight months for Maly, a flooring installer.
A prosecutor described Maly, 49, as a “lifelong criminal” with 33 prior convictions on his record, including two for battery of a law enforcement officer. But the judge who sentenced Maly noted that most of his crimes date back to his 20s.
Maly told U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta that he regrets traveling to Washington and following the mob of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters to the Capitol. But he insisted that he merely “occupied space” in the crowd and denied attacking and pepper-spraying police.
“I went to a rally. That’s what I did,” he told the judge.
The judge said jurors had ample evidence to convict Maly of assaulting police.
“It’s not that you were there and ‘occupying space.’ It’s that you did these things and kept doing them that day,” the judge told him.
Prosecutors say Maly is one of many Capitol rioters who have tried to profit from their notoriety, portraying themselves as patriots, martyrs or political prisoners as they solicit donations from supporters. While prosecutors acknowledge that defendants have a right to raise money for legal defenses, they’re increasingly asking judges to impose fines on top of prison terms to claw back donations used for personal expenses.