Woman who flew to Capitol riot in private plane gets prison time

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Real estate broker Jennifer Leigh Ryan was sentenced Thursday to 60 days in prison for her role in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The 51-year-old flew to the Capitol with a group of people from Denton, Texas, in a private plane and documented her involvement heavily on social media. 

Ryan plead guilty to one count of “parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol building.” She expressed remorse during sentencing, saying “this is not anything that remotely resembles who I am.”

Judge Christopher Cooper emphasized that Ryan was prosecuted for her actions inside the Capitol, not her political beliefs. 

“Your case has generated a fair amount of public interest,” Cooper said Thursday. “And as a result, people will be interested to know what sentence you get. That sentence will tell them something about how the courts and how our country responded. And I think that the sentence should tell them that we take it seriously … and that it should never happen again.”

On January 6, Ryan posted a video saying her group came to “storm the capitol.” She also posted several Facebook live videos to her social media, where she can be seen entering the Capitol through the Rotunda before walking throughout the building, according to charging documents. “Life or death, it doesn't matter. Here we go,” Ryan says in the now deleted video. 

She also tweeted, “We just stormed the Capital. It was one of the best days of my life.”

Ryan later said she went to Washington to do what former President Donald J. Trump asked of his supporters. 

“I feel like I was basically following my president,” Ryan said in a January interview with CBS Dallas-Fort Worth. “I was following what we were called to do. He asked us to fly there. He asked us to be there.”

She also maintained that she would not receive jail time for her actions. 

“Definitely not going to jail,” she tweeted in March. “Sorry I have blonde hair white skin a great job a great future and I'm not going to jail. Sorry to rain on your hater parade. I did nothing wrong.”

In January, PayPayl closed her account after she tried to accept donations to pay her legal fees and “business losses” while the FBI investigated. 

As part of her sentencing, Ryan will be required to pay $1,500 in fines to the Architect of the Capitol.

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