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Capitol riot prosecutors ask for 2 months for Idaho woman

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal prosecutors say an Idaho woman who participated in the Jan. 6, 2021, siege of the U.S. Capitol should be sentenced to two months in jail and ordered to serve community service in part because it was her second time forcing entry into a capitol building.

Pam Hemphill of Boise pleaded guilty earlier this year to one misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol Building. In exchange, prosecutors dropped three additional misdemeanor charges.

In a sentencing memo filed in Hemphill’s case on Wednesday, the federal prosecutors noted that just a few months earlier Hemphill was part of a group of protesters that forced their way into an Idaho Statehouse gallery with limited seating, shattering the window of a door in the process.

Hemphill and other members of the far-right group People’s Rights were at the Boise Capitol because they were angry over coronavirus-related restrictions, and Hemphill bragged about her actions in Boise while talking to other rioters at the U.S. Capitol last year as they sought to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election.

“In fact, Hemphill may be the only defendant to be sentenced by the court so far who participated in not one, but two capitol building breaches within a year,” the federal prosecutors told the court.

Hemphill’s attorney, Nathan Silver II, declined to comment on the case.

Like many other defendants who have been charged in connection with the siege, Hemphill posted videos to social media sites that showed her in Washington, D.C., in the days surrounding the insurrection and at the Capitol when it was happening.

In one video, she compared breaking windows at the federal building to actions protesters at the Idaho Statehouse had taken. In another, she said she avoided getting into trouble after being found inside the Capitol by telling police that she became lost after being pushed into the building by the crowd. The videos were later removed.

“She encouraged others to come to the Capitol for a "WAR” on social media, even before she arrived, and further encouraged others out in Washington, D.C. on the evening of January 5 to ‘occupy the Capitol’ and break the glass like they did in Boise,” the prosecutors wrote.

Hemphill also lied to FBI agents when she was arrested, the prosecutors said, claiming she had been pushed into the Capitol by other rioters and saying she helped law enforcement officers keep rioters out of the Capitol.

The prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Hemphill to 60 days incarceration, three years of probation, 60 hours of community service and $500 in restitution. Hemphill is scheduled to be sentenced on May 18.

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