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Prosecutors seek jail for Virginia brothers in Jan. 6 riot

April 24, 2022 GMT

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Prosecutors are seeking short jail sentences for two brothers from Virginia Beach who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Paul and Eric Von Bernewitz are scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Washington. They each pleaded guilty in January to demonstrating inside the Capitol.

In court papers, prosecutors recommended a 45-day sentence for Paul and a 15-day sentence for Eric.

Both were briefly inside the Capitol, but prosecutors said the evidence shows Paul played a more direct role in confronting Capitol police guarding the building.

Paul’s lawyer is requesting a 3-day sentence, while Eric’s lawyer requested no jail time. Paul’s lawyer described his client as “a good guy who sometimes gets caught up in the moment” and is largely apolitical. They said he went to Washington that day only at the invitation of his brother.

The lawyer for Eric, who owns a furniture company and founded a youth wrestling club, cited a physical disability in a plea for lenience. The lawyer also argued that Eric has suffered because the government contracting aspect of his business has essentially dried up.