Khater pleaded responsible to counts punishable by as much as 20 years in jail however faces a probable sentence of 78 to 97 months underneath federal tips negotiated with prosecutors. He has spent 17 months behind bars since his arrest and will probably be sentenced Dec. 13.
Khater’s plea resolves probably the most high-profile assaults on police within the Jan. 6 riot, through which almost 140 defendants have been charged with felony assault in opposition to an officer. Childhood buddies Khater, 33, and Tanios, 40, deployed chemical spray in opposition to officers holding again a violent crowd on the West Terrace of the Capitol, injuring Sicknick and others at a skinny level in police traces.
Sicknick, 42, collapsed hours later and died the following day of pure causes, officers stated. Neither Tanios or Khater is alleged to have brought about Sicknick’s demise.
In his plea, Tanios admitted bringing each bear and pepper spray to Washington and giving one canister to Khater earlier than their arrival on the Capitol.
Tanios’s plea settlement didn’t require that he cooperate with prosecutors, though he admitted that he didn’t have info to dispute or disprove the allegations in opposition to Khater within the indictment.
Khater admitted deploying pepper spray at shut vary within the faces of Sicknick, Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards and a D.C. police officer recognized as B. Chapman from the police line, forcing them to desert their posts. In a bond listening to, prosecutors alleged that Khater moved to spray a second group earlier than he was repelled by a police lieutenant who fired a chemical irritant at him utilizing a “Tremendous Soaker”-type system.
“Give me that bear sh–,” Khater advised Tanios on video recorded 9 minutes earlier, at 2:14 p.m. on the Decrease West Terrace of the Capitol, the place Sicknick and different officers had been standing guard behind metallic bicycle racks, based on the plea.
“Maintain on, maintain on, not but, not but … it’s nonetheless early,” Tanios allegedly replied.
In charging papers, an FBI agent stated the trade confirmed that the 2 had been “working in live performance and had a plan to make use of the poisonous spray in opposition to regulation enforcement.” The agent asserted that Khater “appeared to time the deployment of chemical substances to coincide with different rioters’ efforts to forcibly take away the bike rack limitations that had been stopping the rioters from shifting nearer to the Capitol constructing.”
Tanios’s lawyer has argued that his shopper was 30 ft away from Khater when he sprayed the officers and didn’t support or abet any crime.
Khater lawyer Joseph Tacopina has stated his shopper by no means coordinated or deliberate to assault police and by no means entered the Capitol constructing.
“It wasn’t a plan. It was a response” to being sprayed by police, Tacopina stated. “He used a defensive spray.”
Sicknick had two strokes after his time on the Capitol that day, officers stated. The health worker stated an post-mortem discovered no proof that Sicknick suffered an allergic response to chemical irritants. There was additionally no proof of inside or exterior accidents, the health worker stated.
Khater and Tanios had been arrested in March 2021. In a listening to final yr ordering Khater’s detention pending trial, U.S. District Decide Thomas F. Hogan stated movies of the assaults on the three officers confirmed a level of premeditation and potential for future hazard.
“These two gents are law-abiding, revered people locally, and it makes it very tough for the courtroom to make this conclusion, however they nonetheless dedicated this assault on uniformed law enforcement officials. I don’t discover a method round that,” Hogan stated on the time.