Ex-Virginia officer found guilty in second Capitol riot jury trial

On Monday, a federal jury found a former Virginia police officer guilty of invading the United States Capitol with another off-duty officer in order to prevent Congress from certifying President Biden’s electoral victory in 2020.

Thomas Robertson, a former Rocky Mount police officer, was found guilty of all six charges he faced in connection with the incident on Jan. 6, 2021, including interfering with police officers at the Capitol and entering a restricted area with a hazardous weapon, a long wooden stick.

At a later court session, a judge will impose a punishment on Robertson.

The jury trial of Robertson was the second of hundreds of Capitol riot trials. The first ended last month with a Texas man, Guy Reffitt, being found guilty of all five counts in his indictment by jurors.

Robertson did not take the stand during his trial, which began on Tuesday. The jury deliberated for several hours over the course of two days before reaching a unanimous decision.

Jacob Fracker, who also worked in the Rocky Mount police department and saw Robertson as a mentor and father figure, was a significant witness for prosecutors in his case.

Before pleading guilty to a conspiracy charge and agreeing to cooperate with investigators, Fracker was set to stand trial alongside Robertson. Fracker said on Thursday that he believed the mob that invaded the Capitol would be able to reverse the presidential election results in 2020.

Six counts were filed against Robertson:

  • Obstruction of Congress.
  • Interfering with officers during a civil disturbance.
  • Entering a restricted area while carrying a dangerous weapon.
  • Disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted area while carrying a dangerous weapon.
  • Disorderly or disruptive conduct inside the Capitol building.
  • Obstruction.

Robertson flew to Washington and joined a “violent vigilante mob” because he believed the election was stolen from then-President Donald Trump, Assistant US Attorney Risa Berkower said during the trial’s concluding statements on Friday.

She claimed he used the wooden stick to obstruct outnumbered cops before joining the crowds flooding into the Capitol.

“All of this was done because the defendant wanted to overturn the election,” Berkower added.