Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition
Rioter who menaced cop with Confederate flag gets sentenced
WASHINGTON — A Delaware man who threatened a Black police officer with a pole attached to a Confederate battle flag as he stormed the U.S. Capitol was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison.
Kevin Seefried, 53, tearfully apologized for his part in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot before U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden sentenced him.
“I never wanted to send a message of hate,” Seefried said.
McFadden said it was deeply troubling that Seefried wielded the flagpole as a weapon, but the judge allowed Seefried to remain free until he must report to prison at a date to be determined.
Seefried and his adult son, Hunter, stormed the Capitol after attending the “Stop the Steal” rally, where then-President Donald Trump addressed thousands of supporters. In October, McFadden sentenced Hunter Seefried to two years of imprisonment.
Photographs showed Kevin Seefried carrying his Confederate flag inside the Capitol after he and his son, then 22, entered the building through a broken window.
Within a minute of entering the building, Kevin Seefried jabbed his flagpole at Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman and joined other rioters in chasing the officer up a flight of stairs, a harrowing scene captured on video. Seefried was the first rioter to encounter Goodman near the base of the staircase, prosecutors said.
Goodman, who testified at the Seefrieds’ trial, said Seefried cursed at him and jabbed at him with the base of his flagpole three or four times without making contact. Goodman recalled that Seefried asked where members of Congress were counting the votes and said, “You can shoot me, man, but we’re coming in.”
Goodman led rioters away from the Senate chamber as senators and then-Vice President Mike Pence were being evacuated. He also directed Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, to turn around and head away from the mob.
Nicaragua prisoner release:
Some 222 inmates considered by many to be political prisoners of the government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega flew to Washington on Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
Blinken said the prisoners, including a U.S. citizen, had been jailed “for exercising their fundamental freedoms and have endured lengthy unjust detentions.”
He said that among those on the plane were political and business leaders, journalists, civil society representatives and students.
Ortega has maintained that his imprisoned opponents and others were behind 2018 street protests he claims were a plot to overthrow him.
Tens of thousands have fled into exile since Nicaraguan security forces violently put down those protests.
UK same-sex marriage:
The Church of England’s national assembly Thursday voted to let priests bless same-sex marriages and civil partnerships, while continuing to ban church weddings for the same couples.
Bishops proposed the compromise measure after five years of discussions about the church’s position on sexuality. It was approved by the church’s General Synod following eight hours of debate over two days in London.
The measure included an apology for the church’s failure to welcome LGBTQ people. But it also endorsed the doctrine that marriage is between one man and one woman, meaning priests are still barred from marrying same-sex couples.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in England and Wales since 2013, but the church didn’t alter its teaching on marriage when the law changed.
DC and House spar: The Republican-led House has launched the first salvo in what could be a long-running feud with the District of Columbia over self-government in the nation’s capital.
In back-to-back votes, the House voted Thursday to overturn a sweeping rewrite of the criminal code passed by the City Council in 2022 and a new law that would grant noncitizens the right to vote in local elections.
Congressional oversight of the district is written into the Constitution. And while it has been more than three decades since Congress outright nullified a D.C. law, Congress has frequently used alternative methods such as budget riders to alter laws.
The House voted 250-173 to overturn the rewrite of the criminal code, which among other things, reduced the maximum penalties for burglary, carjacking and robbery. The voting rights bill was overturned by a 260-173 vote.
Both moves would have to pass the Democratic-held Senate and be signed by President Joe Biden.
FTX founder’s hearing:
A federal judge Thursday ordered lawyers for Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder of the bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange, to create a plan with prosecutors that would ensure that Bankman-Fried did not delete text messages he sent while awaiting trial on charges that he orchestrated the theft of billions of dollars in customer deposits.
Judge Lewis Kaplan issued his instructions at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, New York, two days after rejecting an agreement that federal prosecutors in Manhattan struck with Bankman-Fried’s lawyers to limit his ability to use certain encrypted messaging services such as Signal.
Kaplan said the proposal had done “nothing but spark more questions in my mind,” explaining that it did not fully eliminate the potential for Bankman-Fried to send messages he could later delete.
Bankman-Fried, 30, was arrested in December on charges he used FTX customer deposits to finance political contributions, lavish real estate purchases and trading operations at his hedge fund.
He has been living with his parents in Palo Alto, California, after reaching a $250 million bail agreement late last year.
Hero factory workers:
A 21-year-old man who fired a shot at a co-worker during a dispute at a Minnesota boat factory Thursday was subdued by other workers as he tried to flee, preventing any serious injuries, authorities said.
Officers responding to a call about an active shooter found the man being held by his co-workers at the Lund Boat Company in New York Mills, Minnesota, Otter Tail County Sheriff Barry Fitzgibbons said.
Fitzgibbons said in a news release that the two men were arguing inside the plant when the 21-yearold pulled a handgun and fired one shot, which did not strike the 31-year-old intended victim.
One other shot was “possibly” fired as the shooter chased the other man out of the factory, Fitzgibbons said. The victim escaped unharmed.
When the suspect tried to get back inside the factory, a worker held the door shut and prevented him from entering, according to the sheriff.