Jury to keep deliberating in former Rocky Mount police officer’s Capitol riot trial

Officer Jacob Fracker (left) and Officer Thomas Robertson (right) were fired from the Town of Rocky Mount Police Department on Tuesday, January 26. (WSLS)

WASHINGTON – A federal jury is set to resume deliberating on Monday in the trial of a former Virginia police officer charged with storming the U.S. Capitol with another off-duty officer.

The 12 jurors deliberated for more than four hours on Friday without reaching a verdict in the case against former Rocky Mount police officer Thomas Robertson, who is charged with obstructing Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory.

Robertson’s jury trial was the second among hundreds of Capitol riot cases. The first ended last month with jurors convicting a Texas man, Guy Reffitt, of all five counts in his indictment.

Robertson didn’t testify at his trial, which started last Tuesday. A key witness for prosecutors in his case was Jacob Fracker, who also served on the Rocky Mount police force and viewed Robertson as a mentor and father figure.

Fracker was scheduled to be tried alongside Robertson before he pleaded guilty last month to a conspiracy charge and agreed to cooperate with authorities. Fracker testified last Thursday that he had hoped the mob that attacked the Capitol could overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Robertson is charged with six counts: obstruction of Congress, interfering with officers during a civil disorder, entering a restricted area while carrying a dangerous weapon, disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted area while carrying a dangerous weapon, disorderly or disruptive conduct inside the Capitol building, and obstruction. The last charge stems from his alleged post-riot destruction of cellphones belonging to him and Fracker.

The town fired Robertson and Fracker after the riot. Robertson has been jailed since Cooper ruled in July that he violated the terms of his pretrial release by possessing firearms.

More than 770 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the riot. Over 250 of them have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanors.

Rocky Mount is about 25 miles south of Roanoke and has roughly 5,000 residents.

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