Capitol rioter's lawyer argues that his brain wasn't fully developed at the time

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By Carina Murphy

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A 20-year-old from Pennsylvania has been sentenced to 14 days in prison for storming Capitol Hill on January 6, despite his lawyer claiming that his brain might not have been fully developed at the time.

Leonard Pearson 'Pearce' Ridge IV was just 19 when joined pro-Trump rioters in Washington D.C, who attacked government property and police officers in a violent demonstration against the 2020 presidential election results.

The New York Post reports that the riot caused over $1.5 million in damages and saw 140 police officers injured by the mob.

Ridge became one of the youngest rioters to be charged by the Department of Justice after tips from classmates led to his arrest.

Prosecutors allege that he broke into the offices of Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

In a Snapchat video he later shared, the then-teenager filmed himself surrounded by the chaotic scenes inside the Capitol. He also bragged to followers on the social media platform during the days following the attack, saying he had "just made history."

In court on Tuesday, Ridge sobbed to Judge John E. Boasberg that he regretted what he had done.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the youth - who has had to put off attending college due to the charges - was brought to tears, saying “If I could do it over again, I would have never entered that building or done any of the things I did that day.”

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Rioters in Washington on January 6 2021. Credit: Picture Architect / Alamy

Meanwhile, his attorney Carina Luguzzi asked the judge to be lenient. As well as blaming her client's actions on mob mentality, political radicalization and global outrage over the pandemic, she also cited medical studies that suggest the human brain is not fully developed until an individual's mid-20s.

"He really did not understand that walking into the Capitol building would be such an egregious act," she said.

"And while many are calling for incarceration of all of the people involved in the case, it is important to see the situation for what it is. He was extremely young."

Despite his defense, Judge Boasberg ruled that Ridge's actions were largely premeditated, saying: "There are perhaps people who attended the rally who were swept up in the crowd, or swept up in the moment. But that is not true for you, given your previous statements."

Alongside 14 days in prison, the 20-year-old has also been served with one year of probation, 100 hours of community service, and a $1,000 fine.

Featured Image Credit: lev radin / Alamy

Capitol rioter's lawyer argues that his brain wasn't fully developed at the time

vt-author-image

By Carina Murphy

Article saved!Article saved!

A 20-year-old from Pennsylvania has been sentenced to 14 days in prison for storming Capitol Hill on January 6, despite his lawyer claiming that his brain might not have been fully developed at the time.

Leonard Pearson 'Pearce' Ridge IV was just 19 when joined pro-Trump rioters in Washington D.C, who attacked government property and police officers in a violent demonstration against the 2020 presidential election results.

The New York Post reports that the riot caused over $1.5 million in damages and saw 140 police officers injured by the mob.

Ridge became one of the youngest rioters to be charged by the Department of Justice after tips from classmates led to his arrest.

Prosecutors allege that he broke into the offices of Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

In a Snapchat video he later shared, the then-teenager filmed himself surrounded by the chaotic scenes inside the Capitol. He also bragged to followers on the social media platform during the days following the attack, saying he had "just made history."

In court on Tuesday, Ridge sobbed to Judge John E. Boasberg that he regretted what he had done.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the youth - who has had to put off attending college due to the charges - was brought to tears, saying “If I could do it over again, I would have never entered that building or done any of the things I did that day.”

wp-image-1263140468
Rioters in Washington on January 6 2021. Credit: Picture Architect / Alamy

Meanwhile, his attorney Carina Luguzzi asked the judge to be lenient. As well as blaming her client's actions on mob mentality, political radicalization and global outrage over the pandemic, she also cited medical studies that suggest the human brain is not fully developed until an individual's mid-20s.

"He really did not understand that walking into the Capitol building would be such an egregious act," she said.

"And while many are calling for incarceration of all of the people involved in the case, it is important to see the situation for what it is. He was extremely young."

Despite his defense, Judge Boasberg ruled that Ridge's actions were largely premeditated, saying: "There are perhaps people who attended the rally who were swept up in the crowd, or swept up in the moment. But that is not true for you, given your previous statements."

Alongside 14 days in prison, the 20-year-old has also been served with one year of probation, 100 hours of community service, and a $1,000 fine.

Featured Image Credit: lev radin / Alamy