Tennessee man sentenced to three months in prison for Jan. 6 Capitol riots

Posted at 4:38 PM, Aug 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-06 13:39:44-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Matthew Baggott — of Woodbury, Tennessee — was sentenced to three months of incarceration followed by one year of supervised release for his actions during the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

He must also complete at least 60 hours of community service and pay a restitution of $500.

Earlier this year, he pleaded guilty to one count of disruptive and disorderly conduct in a restricted building or grounds.

Prosecutors painted a picture of Baggott as aggressive and violent when he and several others stormed the Capitol building.

They said while he didn’t lead a group or damage property, Baggott positioned himself in the very front of the breach. They went on to say Baggott did not hesitate to engage when the opportunity presented itself.

Baggott was seen on camera throwing an empty water bottle toward officers. He later grabbed an officer’s baton while the officer was pushing back another rioter.

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Defense attorneys told the judge that Baggott was most remorseful for making any contact with the officer who was simply “trying to defend our democracy.”

Attorneys say that while Baggott only grabbed the baton for a moment, he had no intentions of violence against anyone that day. They say Baggott only traveled to D.C. to watch President Donald Trump speak but couldn’t make it in time. He claims the momentum of the crowd carried him to the Capitol where he noticed people breaking in.

Baggott says for some reason he felt compelled to follow the crowd into the building with no idea of what to do next. He stayed in the building for several minutes before walking out.

Defense attorneys said this was all very out of character for Baggott and offered character evidence. They said unlike other defendants, Baggott did not brag about his actions online. Baggott later plead and accepted responsibility 10 months later, which defense attorneys say warranted probation instead of jail time.

The judge disagreed and said the video showed Baggott had a “defiant” look on his face when throwing the water bottle and grabbing the officer’s baton. He said Baggott could have walked away even after grabbing the baton, but he appeared to stare down the officer.

All of what the judge said helped contribute to one of our country’s “darkest days.”

Baggott will self-report to the U.S. Marshal's office to turn himself in. His attorneys petitioned the court to have Baggott serve his time in a Middle Tennessee detention facility. It wasn’t immediately clear if the recommendation was accepted.