A married couple from Largo who admitted entering the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot was sentenced to jail time Friday. Marilyn Fassell, a 59-year-old nursing assistant who gained notoriety through a selfie she took while smoking a cigarette inside the building, was sentenced to 30 days and three years probation.
Her husband Thomas Fassell, a 68-year-old retired postal worker and Air Force veteran, was sentenced to seven days and two years probation.
“There are lawful means available in a democracy to challenge actions you disagree with which don’t include a violent insurrection,” U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said during the sentencing.
Prosecutors had requested 60 days of incarceration for Marilyn Fassell, stating in a recent filing that, “Fassell encouraged other rioters to proceed ... celebrated the fact that the rioters had overwhelmed police ... and showed no remorse when she spoke to the media following her arrest in September 2021.”
For Thomas Fassell, prosecutors requested 30 days incarceration, they said, because he went inside despite seeing overturned police barricades and smashed glass, breathing tear gas and hearing a blaring security alarm, and because he later tried to minimize his responsibility in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times.
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