Today, an 18-year-old Georgia high school student was sentenced for his involvement in the U.S. Capitol breach. Bruno Joseph Cua, who drove to Washington D.C. with his parents to attend Donald Trump’s Stop the Steal rally, joined the riots and committed various unlawful acts inside the Capitol building. He attacked a police officer, sat in former Vice President Mike Pence’s chair on the Senate floor, and used pepper spray and a baton while attempting to intimidate staffers.
Initially, the judge considered a more severe sentence, but ultimately opted for leniency, taking into account Cua’s age and expression of remorse. Now 21 years old and facing prison time, Cua displayed a different attitude before the sentencing, expressing deep regret for his actions and acknowledging the seriousness of his role in the “attack on democracy.”
During the court proceedings, Cua admitted that everything he did that day was a chain of terrible decisions. He recognized the gravity of his actions and conveyed his remorse to U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss. After the sentencing, which includes one year in prison and three years of supervised release, Cua spoke about feeling profoundly affected and “scarred to my core” by his actions.
This case serves as a reminder of the consequences that some individuals faced for their participation in the Capitol breach and highlights the impact it had on their lives. The sentence given to Cua reflects a balance between accountability for his actions and the consideration of his age and expression of remorse during the legal proceedings.
From AP News:
Prosecutors recommended a prison sentence of four years and nine months for Cua. His lawyers asked the judge to sentence him to time served: the 40 days he spent in jail after his February 2021 arrest.
Moss told Cua that he was prepared to give him a longer prison sentence before he heard his statement in court on Wednesday. The judge said he believes Cua is truly remorseful.
“It’s a tragic case for the country. It’s a tragic case for you and your family,” the judge told him. “There are no winners in any of this.” …
Around the time of the riot, Cua was finishing online coursework to graduate from high school. Prosecutors said Cua’s age is “only slightly” a mitigating factor in his favor.
Justice Department prosecutor Kaitlin Klamann said at least five Capitol riot defendants were younger than Cua on Jan. 6. Two of the five have resolved their cases and avoided prison terms. Both pleaded guilty to misdemeanor offenses and were sentenced to probation.