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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBN) — A Champion man who was charged with taking part in the riot at the U.S. Capitol protesting the certification of the 2020 presidential election was given two years probation Thursday by a federal judge.
U.S. Judge John D. Bates gave the sentence to Stephen Ayres, 39, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia during a sentencing hearing earlier Thursday.
Ayres was also ordered to pay $500 restitution.
Ayres pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of taking part in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol while Congress was meeting to certify the results of the Electoral College to declare Joe Biden winner of the 2020 presidential election.
Federal prosecutors sought a 60-day jail sentence but attorneys for Ayres asked for probation, noting that he testified for the congressional committee investigating the attacks.
A sentencing memorandum by Ayres’ attorneys said since the Jan. 6 attack, he lost his job and a friend of his who participated in the attack committed suicide.
The memorandum noted that Ayres did not destroy any property during the breach of the Capitol, and he regrets his conduct. That led to his decision to cooperate with congressional investigators, the memorandum said.
His attorneys said he feels he was misled by former President Donald Trump about the election being stolen, and they also said he made no excuses for his conduct, accepted responsibility and apologized. His attorneys suggested a sentence of probation and community service.