Co-defendant testifies against former Rocky Mount police officer in Capitol riot trial

Jacob Fracker said testifying against a man who he called ‘Dad’ was uncomfortable

He's in the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON – On day two of the trial against former Rocky Mount police officer Thomas Robertson, his former co-defendant testified against him in the final hours of proceedings Wednesday.

Jacob Fracker, who also is a former Rocky Mount police officer and entered a plea agreement earlier this year, took the stand to detail his perspective of their actions on January 6, 2021.

“I absolutely hate this. We’ve always been on the other side of things. The good side,” said Fracker on the stand Wednesday.

Fracker said having to testify against a man he called “Dad,” who referred to him as his “son” in return, was uncomfortable.

A picture that prosecutors used in their original charging document shows Fracker on the left, and Robertson on the right, inside of the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, according to prosecutors.

Fracker testified Robertson invited him and planned the trip to the Capitol. He added both were “hyped up” and “excited” to be in D.C. and wanted to see the results of the 2020 election overturned.

In opening statements Tuesday, the defense said Robertson only went into the Capitol to get Fracker who ran inside while he helped their distressed companion. Their argument is that Robertson simply wanted to find him and quickly get out of there.

Some of his testimony aligned with the defense story. Fracker admits to being amped up with adrenaline and losing sight of Robertson before entering the Capitol. Court evidence showed the pair were reunited in a room known as the crypt, located below the Capitol Rotunda. While there they took pictures and began singing and clapping with a crowd.

The defense says Robertson had one goal: find Fracker, but Fracker testified that Robertson was equally as energized and excited once they left and never told him to quickly get out.

Two Metropolitan D.C. police officers testified. One said Robertson struck him and another officer with his “wooden stick.”

Prosecutors believe the stick to have been a weapon. The defense says it is a “walking stick” meant to help the wooden military veteran keep his balance.

The government has asked every witness so far about Robertson’s physical condition and if they ever witnessed him use a walking stick or cane. No one has testified that he did.

Only at one point did Fracker say he stopped to help police.

He testified that he put himself between law enforcement and the crowd to protect them while outside of the Capitol before he entered. Once he noticed the officers were severely outnumbered and there was nothing he could do he moved on and at no other time stopped to help again.

At no point did either of them identify themselves as officers, Fracker testified.

Fracker told the court they left feeling accomplished and that he and Robertson discussed a potential next civil war on the ride back home to Rocky Mount.

The FBI called both former officers on January 13, 2021, notifying them they had outstanding warrants for their actions at the U.S. Capitol.

Before turning themselves in to authorities, Fracker says Robertson advised him to give him his cell phone. He assumes Robertson “got rid of” both phones so that police wouldn’t collect them as they turned themselves in.

He also testified Robertson paid him $30,000 in the days after January 6. No clarity on why.

Fracker’s testimony still is not done. Robertson’s defense is expected to cross-examine Fracker when the court is back in session on Thursday morning.

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About the Author:

McKinley Strother joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2020. He anchors 10 News at 6 and 11 on Saturdays and Sundays and you'll also catch him reporting during the week.