Feds Seek 4½ Years In Prison For D.C. ‘Pizzagate’ Shooter
WASHINGTON ― Federal prosecutors in the nation’s capital want a man who fired a weapon inside a local pizza shop in December ― after reading fake online news stories that it housed a child sex-trafficking ring with ties to Hillary Clinton ― to serve 4½ years in prison plus three years of probation.
In a sentencing memo filed Tuesday, prosecutors wrote they wanted to send a message to “deter other would-be vigilantes” from committing similar acts after “the next internet-inspired conspiracy theory.”
Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, pleaded guilty to charges stemming from his Dec. 4 attack on Comet Ping Pong in northwest Washington. In a sentencing memo, federal prosecutors said Welch was “expressly willing to sacrifice those lives ― the lives of innocent people ― so that he could pursue vigilante acts of violence against non-existent criminals.” That nobody was shot “was entirely the product of good luck,” they wrote.
“The defendant committed serious crimes that terrorized a community and traumatized Comet employees and customers alike,” they wrote. “There are victims who require crisis counseling, employees who feel unsafe in their jobs, and children whose memories are imprinted with the danger of that day. The government submits that the facts of this case require a significant sentence, not only to punish the defendant for his actions, but also to keep the community safe from the defendant and to deter other would-be vigilantes from attempting similar crimes against innocent subjects of the next internet-inspired conspiracy theory.”
Welch, according to prosecutors, spent the days before the attack watching YouTube videos about the fake “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory. On his drive to Washington, Welch recorded a video for his family on his cellphone, telling them he loved them and that he couldn’t let his daughters “grow up in a world that has been […]