Micajah Joel Jackson, who illegally entered the US Capitol, is sentenced
Calling the US Capitol riot a ‘scary moment in history’, a federal judge sentenced an Arizona man who entered the US Capitol illegally to 36 months probation, with the first 90 days to be spent in a home of residential transition.
Before imposing the sentence on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Randolph D. Moss sharply chastised 26-year-old Micajah Joel Jackson for his conduct, including yelling at law enforcement and being on the forefront of the crowd that entered the restricted building on Jan. 6. 2021.
“You were in the middle of it all and you knew you shouldn’t be,” Moss said. “You made a huge, huge mistake that day doing that.”
Jackson, a Marine Corps veteran who lives in Maricopa, faced up to six months in prison after pleading guilty to one misdemeanor parade, protest or picketing.
He spoke briefly during his sentencing, telling the judge that it has been a long and stressful year and that he would like to move on with his life.
Moss said he decided to impose the halfway house restriction so that Jackson would have time to reflect on his conduct as he returned each day to a place other than his home. Although Jackson was not violent on Jan. 6, “everyone who was there illegally was contributing to what was going on,” he said.
Moss said he was also troubled that Jackson sent a letter to the court expressing remorse, but then granted interviews and posted comments on social media reflecting a lack of remorse.
Prosecutors complained to the judge that Jackson is using his arrest as a “springboard” to build his brand and promote dangerous conspiracy theories.
During a court hearing earlier this month, they said the amount of information Jackson was spreading on social media was “absolutely overwhelming.” Assistant US Attorney Sean Murphy said there were literally hours of videos and volumes of social media posts that could be presented as evidence. He has a Twitter account called @TheJFKReport and accounts on at least five other sites, according to court records.
Jackson’s attorney, Maria Jacob, acknowledged that her client made errors in judgment when speaking to the media and posting certain things on Twitter. She told a judge earlier this month that she believed her client sincerely regretted his conduct on January 6.
Jackson was photographed Jan. 6 walking from the National Monument to the Capitol with members of the Proud Boys, an extremist group, and illegally entered the Capitol building shortly after a mob broke through the gate. Once inside, he wandered for nearly 30 minutes before heading back out after a chemical irritant deployed.
He is among at least 11 people with ties to Arizona who have been charged in a broad federal investigation related to the Capitol riot. Across the country, more than 725 people have been charged and about 165 have pleaded guilty to various federal charges. About 140 police officers were injured and four people died that day as a mob stormed the Capitol and temporarily halted the Electoral College vote count.
Jackson, who served in the Marine Corps from 2015 to 2017, told The Arizona Republic in an interview last year that his arrest was a political persecution. He said he was in Ohio, visiting family for the holidays when he heard about President Donald Trump’s rally in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021 and decided to go. He said he was very interested in politics, government and American history.
“I expose political propaganda. I just wanted to go document and research and interview,” he said.
Once in Washington, D.C., he attended a “Save America” rally where he listened to speeches encouraging the crowd to march to the Capitol and stand up for the country. Along the way, he met members of the Proud Boys and walked with them.
Jackson was pictured in photos and videos wearing a flannel shirt, a baseball cap with the words “USA”, green cargo pants and yellow gloves. He also wore an orange armband, which he said was given to him by the Arizona Proud Boys. He denied being affiliated. He said he thought it would be safer to walk with a group that day than to be alone.
New case in the Capitol riot of January 6:Arizonan Jacob Zerkle arrested, admitted shoving officers
Prosecutors said Jackson entered the Capitol at 2:22 p.m., shortly after a crowd marched through the door. Once inside, they say he wandered through Statuary Hall, the Halls of the House Chamber, and the Rotunda.
Although Jackson is not charged with assault or damage, prosecutors asked the judge to consider his conduct in the context of a large and violent riot that relied on numbers to overwhelm the forces of the order and violate the Capitol.
“Without Jackson’s actions alongside so many others, the riot likely would have failed,” prosecutors wrote in court documents.
In a letter to the judge, Jackson denied taking part in the chaos. He said he was “guilty by association” of being mixed in with the unruly crowd.
“January 6 was a dark day for every American citizen. As a Marine, I failed to hold myself to a higher standard,” he wrote.
He continued to tell the judge that he was a young man, searching for his purpose in life and trying to recover from trauma. His parents separated very early. He said he found sobriety through alcohol “by God” and recently celebrated his third year of sobriety. He is in college and studying to become a professor of political philosophy.
As Thursday’s sentencing drew to a close, Judge Moss referenced Jackson’s comments he made about pursuing his life.
“I hope you will,” said the judge. “I wish you good luck.”
“Thank you, sir,” Jackson replied. “I’m grateful to you. God bless you all.”
“Be careful,” replied the judge.
Support local journalism. Subscribe to azcentral.com today.