A North Carolina man was sentenced to 28 months in prison on Tuesday (Dec. 14) for threatening to kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this January. According to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, D.C.; U.S. District Judge Amy Berman sentenced Cleveland Meredith Jr. to over two years in prison with three years of supervised release.
According to Forbes, Meredith pleaded guilty to one count of interstate communication of threats earlier this year. Prosecutors say the man drove from Colorado to D.C. the week of Jan. 6 and was planning on attending the pro-Trump riot that took over the U.S. Capitol. However, car trouble delayed his trip and he instead arrived in the city on the evening of Jan. 6 after rioters had dispersed.
Meredith’s uncle told the man’s mother about the text message, who then notified the FBI. His mother said she feared her son, who she says suffers from mental illness, “was heading into a maelstrom where further violence might erupt,” referring to the riot. However, she said she did not believe that he was going to harm Pelosi.
Federal agents found Meredith at his D.C. hotel room on Jan. 7 along with a trailer he brought from Colorado, which contained a handgun, military-style rifle and around 2,500 rounds of ammunition, prosecutors said.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Meredith apologized to Pelosi. “I know what I did was wrong,” he said.
His lawyer asked the judge to sentence him to time served, arguing that Meredith wrote the text message in “rough, familiar, extreme terms” and didn’t take any concrete steps to act on the threat. However, the judge said she did not take Meredith’s texts lightly.
“They cannot be erased by adding LOL on the end,” she said.
Around 700 people have been charged with crimes relating to the Jan. 6 riot, USA Today reports. Around 150 of them have pleaded guilty, over 20 have been sentenced to prison and more than a dozen have received home confinement sentences.