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Kentuckians get probation in connection with Capitol riots

October 22, 2021 GMT

A Kentucky couple who pleaded guilty to misdemeanors in connection with the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol were sentenced to five years of probation Friday and fined $5,000 each.

Lori Vinson and Roy Vinson of Morganfield were also ordered to perform 120 hours of community service. Prosecutors had asked for one month in jail for Lori Vinson and three months of house arrest for her husband.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton raised his voice as he imposed the couple’s sentences, chastising them for being “gullible enough” to believe the lie that the election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.

“We’re tearing our country apart,” he said. “We are so divided as a country that we are killing ourselves as a country.”

Both of the Vinsons pleaded guilty to parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, a misdemeanor charge that carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison.

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The Vinsons apologized for their actions.

“It was never, ever my intention to go to Washington, D.C., and break the law,” said Lori Vinson, who said in January that she lost her nursing job at Ascension St. Vincent in Evansville, Indiana. “It’s going to have a lasting impression on my reputation for probably the rest of my life.”

Thomas Vinson said he and his wife went to the Capitol as “peaceful people.”

“I made a terrible decision by going into that building and escorting my wife into that building,” Thomas Vinson said. “Sir, I haven’t had even a traffic stop in 25 years much less any kind of altercation with the law.”

Walton, now a senior judge, has served on the district court for the District of Columbia since October 2001 after being nominated by Republican President George W. Bush.