Missouri Army veteran, 2 others get probation in Capitol riot
The Kansas City Star March 17, 2022
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Tribune News Service) — Three Springfield men charged with breaching the Capitol together during the Jan. 6 insurrection were sentenced in federal court Thursday to probation, a fine and community service.
U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich sentenced Zachary Martin to three years' probation, while Army veteran Michael Quick and his older brother Stephen got two year's probation. All three men also must pay a $1,000 fine and perform 60 hours of community service, and Martin and Michael Quick were ordered to undergo a mental health assessment and treatment if necessary.
The men also must pay $500 in restitution for damage to the Capitol building, which prosecutors said totaled $1.5 million. The sentencing hearing was held by video conference in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
"Given that these defendants did not plan to go inside the Capitol that day ahead of time, this seemed to be a spur-of-the-moment decision," Friedrich said, adding that it showed "incredibly poor judgment."
Friedrich noted that the men didn't damage property, assault anyone or enter any private areas and cooperated with law enforcement, shared evidence with the FBI and spoke to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack.
"All of that reflects favorably on them." But she added: "It was obviously a reckless decision."
The three had each pleaded guilty in December to one count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol building, a misdemeanor. They faced a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The government had requested that the court sentence Martin to 30 days' incarceration followed by 36 months' probation and $500 restitution. It asked that Michael Quick be sentenced to three months' home detention followed by 36 months' probation, 60 hours of community service and $500 restitution; and that Stephen Quick receive two months' home detention followed by 36 months' probation, 60 hours of community service and $500 restitution.
All three defendants addressed the court prior to their sentencing.
"It's just been really hard, and I can't believe that I made the decision to do what I did that day," Martin said. "I just want you to know that I just am truly sorry. It is just totally embarrassing to be here right now."
Friedrich asked Martin why he felt he was fully justified to invade the Capitol on Jan. 6.
"In looking at this now, where you sit, do you see how erroneous that view was?" she said.
"Yes, your honor, I definitely do," he replied.
"Can you help me understand what was going through your mind at that point?" Friedrich asked.
"It was just wild and crazy and I just wasn't thinking straight when that happened," he said. "I wish I had never gone to the Capitol. I wish we would have left immediately."
Michael Quick said that "we've all experienced a great deal of remorse."
"We've all been through a lot," he said. "That's really about all I can say about that. Deeply regrettable. No intentions to go to the Capitol, and if that's a moment we could take back, we would have not went."
Stephen Quick said he was "truly embarrassed with our actions."
"It was really totally out of character for us," he said, "and I am sorry."
The men's attorney, Joe Passanise, wrote in their sentencing memorandums that they went to the nation's capital "on a whim" to attend the pro-Trump "Stop the Steal Rally."
"Martin and the Quicks, specifically, felt compelled as patriots based on the skepticism surrounding the integrity of the 2020 election to be a face in the crowd at the rally," the document said.
"There was no master plan to enter the Capitol on January 6, but rather a reckless decision driven by adrenaline and curiosity. The three men could not have anticipated, nor controlled the chaos that occurred."
Passanise told the court Thursday that "all three of them accepted responsibility."
"This is a situation where all three have been embarrassed here in our community, they've been humbled by this process, they've lost family and friends because of their behavior and their actions that day on January 6," he said. "They've tried to right the wrong since day one."
Prosecutors said the men traveled together to D.C. with a friend of Martin's from Alabama. After the pro-Trump rally, they went to the Capitol, entering together through a broken window. They were aware of the potential for violence, prosecutors said, because they stood inside the Senate wing door while a crowd chanted "fight for Trump" as Capitol police were backed up against the wall. The men were in the building for about 16 minutes.
While inside, prosecutors said, Martin pushed his way through the rioters, live streamed a video on Facebook in front of a portrait of former New York Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and "likely destroyed evidence by deactivating his Facebook page after many of his friends reported viewing his livestream message from the Capitol."
Prosecutors also said that Martin had a criminal history — though more than a decade old — that included convictions for burglary as well as distribution, delivery, and manufacture of a controlled substance. And Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Korba told the court Thursday that while on pretrial release, Martin failed to report for his check-ins several times.
Martin, 46 and a father of three, operates an event production business and manages a disc golf course. He told authorities he opposed violence and that he suspended his Facebook account because people started posting about his activity in D.C.
"Many of his friends were liberal and angry that he went to the protest and went inside the Capitol," the sentencing document said. It also said that Martin follows QAnon message boards "and recommends other people to do so, but Martin did not think that any part of Q had anything to do with January 6."
Michael Quick, 44, is an Army veteran and a bench jeweler at the family business in Nixa. Korba said he cooperated immediately, spoke to the FBI and had a minimal criminal history. But he said Michael Quick minimized his actions, posting positive comments on Facebook about his experience.
"It appears, based upon some of his statements, that he really only appears to be sorry that he lost Facebook friends" because of the posts, Korba said.
Stephen Quick, 49 and a father of three, also works at the family jewelry business. The government said he cooperated immediately, spoke to the FBI, had a minimal criminal history and did not post anything about the Capitol invasion on social media.
Court documents said Stephen Quick told the FBI that he normally doesn't follow crowds, but "we played right along." He said he was "very very disappointed in myself about that." He said the crowd started out peaceful but once people got near the Capitol, "like everything went evil. It was the strangest thing I've ever dealt with." He said people were yelling "come on, come on," and that "it didn't feel right."
Four other Missourians have already been sentenced in connection with the insurrection.
Prior to their sentencing on Thursday, the Quicks and Martin each wrote a letter to the court apologizing for their actions.
"I used terrible judgment by entering the U.S. Capitol building through the window," Stephen Quick said. "My actions were unacceptable and totally out of character. I am truly embarrassed and extremely remorseful."
Michael Quick wrote that as they neared the Capitol that day, "curiosity had gotten the better of me and I proceeded closer a little bit at a time until we found ourselves just outside the building."
"I felt justified for going through the window because the police did not seem to mind. I should have known better. I have no excuse or even the words for the poorest of poor judgment. I have paid dearly for my transgressions and am deeply regretful."
Martin said he was "a patriotic person who stands behind God, family and the constitution."
He told the court that "our intentions were good and we were just there to support our country and our freedoms" and that "I will not be involved in any more insurrections again."
"I truly just want to raise my family and keeps lawyers and law-enforcement out of my life," he said. "This has been a wild ride that I don't want to ride ever again."
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