CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A former city councilman in West Virginia was sentenced Tuesday to 45 days in prison for breaching the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot.
Eric Barber was sentenced by a federal judge in Washington, D.C., for his December guilty plea to a misdemeanor count of illegally entering the Capitol, news outlets reported. Barber also was given a seven-day sentence, which the judge suspended, for stealing a portable battery charger from a media stand inside the Capitol.
Barber was ordered to pay $500 restitution for damage done to the Capitol and for the cost of the charger.
Barber’s federal public defender had sought probation, saying his 43-year-old client had expressed remorse.
Barber is among more than 80 defendants sent to prison for offenses related to the attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to an Associated Press analysis of sentencing data. More than 800 cases have been brought so far in the largest prosecution in Justice Department history. So far, the criminal investigation has focused primarily on the hundreds of Trump supporters who broke through police barricades, shattered windows, attacked officers and stormed into the Capitol.
Photos and security video showed Barber inside the Capitol wearing a green combat-style helmet and a green military-style field jacket, according to a criminal complaint. The complaint said video recorded Barber saying, “They’re giving us the building,” and he took selfies in the Rotunda.
The riot left more than 100 police officers injured. Nine people died in the riot and its aftermath, including a Trump supporter shot and killed by Capitol police. A U.S. House committee holding a public hearing on its investigation of the insurrection has laid the blame firmly on Donald Trump.
Barber was elected to the Parkersburg City Council in 2016 as a Democrat. He changed his registration to independent a year later, then changed it again to Republican before losing his reelection bid in November 2020.