A federal judge is not proceeding as planned with the sentencing of former Proud Boys leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, who was convicted of recruiting followers to attack the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and disrupting the peaceful transfer of American presidential power, spokespeople for the U.S. attorney’s office and federal court in D.C. said Wednesday.
The U.S. attorney’s office spokeswoman initially cited an unspecified “emergency,” though the court spokeswoman later said there was no emergency. A spokesperson for the U.S. Marshals Service said the judge was ill.
Tarrio had been scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday along with one of his top deputies, Ethan Nordean.
Nordean is now expected to be sentenced Friday at 2 p.m. Tarrio’s sentencing has been rescheduled for Tuesday at 2 p.m.
Three other members of the Proud Boys, a far-right group with a history of violence, also face sentencing on Thursday and Friday: Joe Biggs, Zachary Rehl and Dominic Pezzola.
Tarrio and his co-defendants were convicted of seditious conspiracy, except Pezzola, who was acquitted of that charge but found guilty like the others of obstructing Congress’s joint session, and of other crimes.
What to know about the Proud Boys sedition trial
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Tarrio, 39, was convicted even though he wasn’t in D.C. on Jan. 6. He and many other members of the group that he led for years visited the District twice in 2020 after President Trump’s defeat, leading to Tarrio’s arrest that December after he burned a “Black Lives Matter” flag torn down from a D.C. church. He was banned from the city as a result. But prosecutors said he recruited people to join in a violent assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6, and messaged them “Don’t f—ing leave” as they led the storming of the building, which caused the electoral vote count to stop for about six hours.
In a day-long hearing Tuesday in D.C., U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly rejected efforts by multiple defendants to throw out the jury verdicts. Their claims that the riot was instigated by government informants or left-wing agitators were “speculative and fantastical,” he said, while accusations of government misconduct in the case were “meritless and not appropriate … as a matter of pure professionalism.”
Prosecutors are asking Kelly to sentence Tarrio to 33 years in prison and Nordean to 27 years. Those would surpass the record for the longest Jan. 6 sentence, which is 18 years, for Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes. The long sentences come from a government request that the Proud Boys defendants be found liable for terrorism, adding roughly 15 years to their sentences, and also for obstruction of justice.
Aaron Blake contributed to this report.