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#Pizzagate Gunman Sentenced to Four Years In Prison

Edgar Maddison Welch attacked a D.C. restaurant last December

[Comet Ping Pong]

Edgar Maddison Welch, the North Carolina man who paralyzed part of the District by entering neighborhood restaurant Comet Ping Pong with a semi-automatic rifle to investigate a bogus alt-right conspiracy theory, was sentenced to four years in prison on Thursday, June 22.

The Huffington Post reports that the punishment is just six months shy of what federal prosecutors had requested. Welch pleaded guilty in March in connection with the December 2016 attack, apologizing for “endangering the safety of any and all bystanders who were present that day.”

Prosecutors argued a harsh sentence would “deter other would-be vigilantes” who might be motivated by “the next internet-inspired conspiracy theory.” The probation office recommended a sentence of 18 months.

U.S. District Judge Ketanji Jackson told Welch on Thursday that she was worried “other people will see what you have done and be inspired by it.”

Following the incident, Comet Ping Pong asked the public for money to install security upgrades.

By Ryan J. Reilly

WASHINGTON ― A North Carolina man who took a gun to a family-oriented pizza restaurant in northwest D.C. so he could look into a conspiracy theory that the eatery was home to a child sex trafficking ring was sentenced on Thursday to four years in federal prison.

Federal prosecutors sought 4.5 years for Edgar Maddison Welch, who pleaded guilty in March in connection with the December 2016 attack. They argued a stiff sentence would “deter other would-be vigilantes” who might be motivated by “the next internet-inspired conspiracy theory.” They said Welch “traumatized the employees and customers” of Comet Ping Pong, and that “his crimes affected an entire community, leaving many people feeling threatened.”

U.S. District Judge Ketanji Jackson told Welch on Thursday that she was worried “other people will see what you have done and be inspired by it.” She said Welch’s case “is no ordinary assault case” and that a sentence at the upper end of the sentencing guidelines was necessary.

The extent of the recklessness in this case is breathtaking.

U.S. District Judge Ketanji Jackson

“I have never heard anything like the conduct that brings us here today,” she said. “The extent of the recklessness in this case is breathtaking.”

Jackson said she believed Welch to be a nice person who thought he was doing the right thing, but that his actions were not an “off-the-cuff” decision. He should have gone to law enforcement if he thought children were in danger, she said.

The probation office recommended a sentence of 18 months. But federal prosecutors Demian Ahn and Sonali Patel made the case that a lengthier sentence was justified.

COURT FILING

Speaking to the courtroom packed with family members, victims, reporters and observers, an orange-clad Welch ― his hair shaved down ― briefly said he was sorry.

“I am really sorry for anything I caused,” he said.

Comet Ping Pong

5037 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, , DC 20008 (202) 364-0404 Visit Website

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