WASHINGTON D.C. – Larry Giberson ’23 pleaded guilty to civil disorder in the District of Columbia United States District Court at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 31. Giberson coordinated a “‘heave-ho’ pushing effort” with rioters through the police line into the United States Capitol on Jan. 6 and intensified violence against police at the Capitol tunnel entryway, according to a Department of Justice filing.
In his April arraignment hearing, Giberson had pleaded not guilty to a total of six violations of the U.S. Code, including engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and impeding passage through the Capitol Grounds.
In “consideration of [Giberson’s] guilty plea to [civil disorder],” he will not be prosecuted criminally by the District Court for the other five charges, according to a copy of the plea agreement obtained by The Daily Princetonian.
Presiding judge Carl Nichols stated that according to 18 U.S. Code § 23, the charge of civil disorder against Giberson carries a maximum statutory penalty of five years of imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and fines up to 250,000 dollars. He noted that Giberson had agreed to pay 100 dollars for special assessment, a fine levied against those convicted of a federal offense, and 2,000 dollars in restitution.
According to the estimated guidelines range listed in the plea agreement, Giberson’s sentence will likely be between zero and six months or eight and 14 months, depending on whether the case is determined to warrant a sentencing enhancement. Nichols explained that he is not bound by the estimated range.
Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Akers represented the U.S. government in the trial. Attorney Charles Burnham represented Giberson. An audience of five people were present at the courtroom.
Giberson and Burnham declined to comment on the result of the hearing. Giberson’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 1.
Akers stated that if the case had gone to trial, “the government would be prepared to prove” that Giberson entered a tunnel to the Capitol, made his way to the front of the line of people trying to get in, waved other rioters in, and participated in “coordinated pushes against the police line.”
Giberson was identified by images of him wearing a “TRUMP Make America Great Again” hat, a black and gray gaiter with the American Flag on it, a Trump flag around his neck, and a dark colored jacket. When arrested in March, Giberson confirmed the individual present in photos at the Capitol was him.
After discussion of Giberson’s rights and the charges against him, Nichols drew attention to the plea agreement, confirming that Giberson signed onto it.
All parties agreed to schedule Giberson’s sentencing hearing for Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 12:30 p.m. in the same courtroom. At the hearing, the judge will hear from both counsels about what they believe to be an appropriate sentence. Giberson will be given the opportunity to speak if he wants to, and witnesses may be brought in as well.
Giberson graduated in May with an A.B. degree in Politics and certificates in Values and Public Life and French. In June, he confirmed to the ‘Prince’ that the University had not reached out to him, in any capacity, regarding his case.
University communications declined to comment on Giberson’s guilty plea.
Recently, the University withheld degrees of students ruled responsible for hazing at a fraternity. No announcement has been made thus far regarding Giberson’s degree.
The Jan. 6 prosecution has led to the arrest of more than 1,000 people across the U.S. As of July, around 100 have been found guilty of at least one count after a trial decided by a jury or judge, and more than 600 have pleaded guilty.
NPR reported in March that out of the 445 people who had been sentenced at that point, 58 people received prison time. In Oct. 2022, another college student, Christian Secor of UCLA, was sentenced to over three years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of obstruction of an official proceeding.
Annie Rupertus is an associate news editor for the ‘Prince.’
Lia Opperman is an associate news editor for the ‘Prince.’
Please send any corrections to corrections[at]dailyprincetonian.com.