Former Rocky Mount officer charged in Jan. 6 riots has acquittal denied

Thomas Robertson was among the rioters that breached the Capitol on Jan. 6

Former Rocky Mount police officer Jacob Fracker pleads guilty to Jan. 6 riot charge

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A former Rocky Mount officer found guilty for his actions in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots asked a judge to acquit him on three charges, and on Tuesday, the acquittal was denied.

Robertson was found guilty of the following in April:

  • Obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting
  • Civil disorder and aiding and abetting
  • Entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds
  • Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds
  • Disorderly conduct in a Capitol building
  • Obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting

Robertson asked to be acquitted of counts one, three, and four.

In the formal request, Robertson’s lawyers state that count one should be dismissed because:

“i) because it fails to state an offense, ii) because the alleged conduct did not “obstruct, influence, and impede” a proceeding within the meaning of the statute, and iii) because the term “corruptly,” as applied is unconstitutionally vague.”

The court responded to the acquittal and said, “Looking at the entire events of the day, Robertson’s preparation for and participating in them, and his statements revealing how he viewed his actions that day, the evidence supports the jury’s verdict on count one.”

For counts three and four, Robertson’s lawyers argued that “there is no evidence to suggest that Mr. Robertson carried a deadly weapon or dangerous weapon.”

The court also disagreed with the arguments for counts three and four.

“Robertson was charged only with carrying – not using – a dangerous weapon, so the implication that the evidence must show he actually used the stick as a weapon is wrong,” the court said. “... holding the stick in port arms while officers approached, and while he wore a gas ask amid a violent crowd, evinced his intent to use the large wooden stick as a means of force if he came into a confrontation with the officers or others in the crowd, even though he ultimately did not use the stick in that way.”

About the Author:

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.