A Capitol rioter who formed his own militia, raised funds and worked to recruit others to join him was sentenced Wednesday to 52 months in prison for assaulting a police officer during the attack, January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Before handing down his sentence, U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss said Lucas Denney “came looking for a fight” on Jan. 6, citing Denney’s messages in which he planned the event, discussed buying pepper spray and body armor for the trip to DC, and hired them. another person to join him.
Denney, the self-proclaimed leader of the Patriot Boys of North Texas, pleaded guilty in March to failing to obtain an indictment within the time allowed by the Justice Department, thereby violating his right to a speedy trial.
During the attack, Denney tried several times to break away from a line of police barricades and later tried to grab a police officer’s baton. Denney also threw a PVC pole at a police officer, but hit a photojournalist instead, according to a joint statement from the government and Denney’s attorney, William Shipley.
Moss attacked Denney for his “multiple and sustained assaults on police officers, including one instance in which he punched a police officer in the face. The government also played video of Denney entering the Lower West Terrace tunnel on Wednesday, one of the most violent attacks on police that day.
In the video Denney could be seen pushing the police with a riot shield. Moss said he had no doubts after exiting the tunnel after watching additional footage, “Mr. Denney was trying to swing Officer (Michael) Fanone, who was being dragged out of the tunnel by other members of the mob, and the officer was struck and electrocuted.
Fanon has stepped down and is now a CNN contributor.
“The attacks took place in the context of an attack on our democracy,” Moss concluded.
Before Jan. 6, Denney had raised enough money online for himself and another member of his gang — Donald Hazard — to travel to D.C., according to court documents.
Hazard, who was hired by Denney as his “Sergeant-at-Arms” and bodyguard by Jan. 6, has been charged with multiple offenses including assaulting, resisting or obstructing police and obstructing an official proceeding.
According to prosecutors, Hazard struggled with officers during the Capitol attack, during which one officer fell down a flight of stairs with Hazard and was knocked unconscious.
Hazard has pleaded not guilty and the government is considering a plea offer, according to court filings.
Denney also tried to recruit others via Facebook to join him and Hazard in DC, saying the cost of the trip would be covered and that he had “a lot of donations.”
In one such post in December, Denney said then-Vice President Mike Pence would “throw away all the votes” from states with alleged fraud, keeping then-President Donald Trump in power.
“However, there is much more going on behind the scenes,” Denney wrote. “That’s why he called this gathering to ask for help. Trump will remain president. That’s why I’ve been so busy. I am the president of the Patriot Boys of North Texas and I have over 200 boys.’
According to prosecutors, Denney bought several items in preparation for the trip, including a helmet for Hazard and pepper spray, which he used on police during the attack.
The militia leader also denounced his ties to the right-wing group Proud Boys and told Hazard they would be staying at a DC hotel with members of the organization.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Shipley told Moss that Denney was being hyperbolic when discussing his connections to the Proud Boys, but that he couldn’t explain how the group was giving Denney hotel rooms.
Before Moss handed down his sentence, Denney told the judge he had “no intention of hurting anybody” that day and asked the judge to consider the impact the sentence would have on his family.
“Please end this nightmare soon,” Denney said.