Leonard Ridge, one of the youngest defendants in the Jan. 6 attacks on the Capitol, who also bragged about his participation, must spend two weeks in prison for his involvement in the insurrection.
The sentence, handed down on Tuesday, Jan. 4, after his lawyer asked that a judge go light on sentencing after citing medical studies which suggest his client’s brain might not have fully matured at the time of the incident.
Carina Laguzzi, the attorney for now 20-year-old Ridge, told Judge James Boasberg that her client was only 19 years old when he allegedly broke down the doors to the offices of Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and later bragged that he “made history.”
Laguzzi noted in her sentencing memo to the court last month that some studies have found that a person’s brain is not fully developed until they’re in their mid-20s. She also added that these studies have also called into question what a person can and can not be held accountable for depending on their age.
Laguzzi also argued that unlike many of the other individuals who participated in the riots, Ridge had to journey through the COVID-19 pandemic as a high school senior. Furthermore, she claimed his interest in politics should be encourаged especially when young people “only dreаm of being influencers.”
While there is no evidence to support Ridge actually carried out any action, or if he ever actually did break into the lawmakers’ offices, he did however write in a message, “Yeah, man so epic I have a video of me fighting riot police in the capital [sic] building.” U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves also acknowledged in his filing that Ridge “boasted” about his being part of the insurrection.
Boasberg ordered a one-year probation sentence after Ridge’s release from prison and 100 hours of community service to be completed during that time. If he finishes his community service early, he can apply for an early end to his probation sentence. He was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.
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