Marine Corps veteran Robert Morss stands outside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot.

Marine Corps veteran Robert Morss stands outside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot. (U.S. Department of Justice/FBI)

(Tribune News Service) — A former Army Ranger will spend at least five years in federal prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the U.S. Capitol, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Robert Morss, of Glenshaw, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden to 66 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release. He must also pay $300 in fines and $2,000 in restitution.

Morss was convicted in August of obstructing an official proceeding, assaulting police with a weapon and robbery. Two other defendants, Geoffrey Sills, 31, of Virginia, and David Judd, 36, of Texas, were also convicted on various counts.

All three men entered the Capitol after attending the Trump rally and violently confronted police in the lower terrace tunnel. Morss joined the crowd on the West Front of the Capitol grounds about 2 p.m., authorities have said. He was wearing a vest designed to hold body armor and carrying a knife sheath and scissors.

He moved to the front of the line of rioters skirmishing with police and tried to steal a police baton, authorities said. He took part in a "heave-ho motion" with other rioters, rocking the mob against the police line. Morss also took a riot shield and passed it to others who then created their own line against the police.

At one point, he yelled to fellow rioters, "Take a look around. We are going to take our Capitol back." Later, he climbed through a broken Capitol window and passed a chair outside.

Morss served three tours in Afghanistan and then worked briefly as a substitute teacher in the Shaler Area district.

(c)2023 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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