Man who asked ‘where’s those pieces of s**t at’ after entering Capitol on Jan 6 receives sentence

A self-described “loudmouth” from Tennessee who scaled a wall and entered the Capitol building through a broken door while an alarm sounded on January 6, 2021, received on Friday a shocking four-year sentence in federal prison.

It’s fair to say that Matthew Bledsoe is probably not the sharpest tack in the box, though he certainly seemed fond of playing dumb during his trial, which ended in July in a conviction.

As NBC News’s Ryan J. Reilly reported at the time of Bledsoe’s trial, the Jan. 6 protester attempted to convince Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell and a jury of his peers that he not only didn’t hear the blaring alarm on the door with shattered glass panels, he couldn’t hear it when lawyers played for him a video of the event.

He also claimed that he didn’t know that Congress was in the process of certifying the presidential election when he entered the building, despite video evidence of him asking, “Where are those pieces of s**t at?” as he did so.

As to why he scaled a wall to gain access to the Capitol, Bledsoe reportedly claimed that things are “quite a bit different” in Tennessee, where, apparently, people do things like that all the time.

So, it’s not really surprising that Judge Howell stated at Bledsoe’s sentencing that his testimony was less than honest.

“You knew what was going on,” Howell said, according to Reilly.

Prior to hearing his fate, Bledsoe expressed regret for much of what happened that explosive day and apologized for “letting my emotions get the best of me.”

Howell stressed that Bledsoe wasn’t being sentenced as a result of a biased justice system, but because of his criminal actions on the day, adding, “I do view this as a very serious case, and you are facing serious prison time.”

“Serious” was an understatement, though the sentence was far less than the 70 months — or more than 5.5 years — sought by the U.S. government, which argued that Bledsoe “made self-serving statements that minimized his participation and conduct in the unprecedented attack on the Capitol.”

Though 70 months represent the guidelines’ minimum for Bledsoe’s crime, Howell sentenced him to four years, or 48 months, citing a disparity with other Jan. 6 cases that a harsher sentence would create.

Still, Howell made evident her feelings for Bledsoe, who joined other protestors in chanting “Nancy, Nancy” and then claimed he had no idea they meant House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“It’s hard to reconcile the image of you today, Mr. Bledsoe, with the image of you on that tape,” Howell said. “Your words, your actions, that day were clear.”

An estimated 3,000 protesters either entered the Capitol building or allegedly assaulted law enforcement outside the building, according to NBC, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamie Carter told the judge on Friday that it was “not an unreasonable expectation” that the Department of Justice would bring charges against more than 2,000 of them before the dust eventually clears.

“More than 870 people have been arrested in connection with the U.S. Capitol attack, and more than 350 have been sentenced so far,” Reilly reports for NBC News. “The FBI has the names of hundreds of additional rioters who have not yet been arrested in connection with Jan. 6; another was arrested this week.”

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Melissa Fine

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