(PresidentialInsider.com)- A man from North Carolina who traveled to Washington, D.C., one day after the infamous attacks on the U.S. Capitol building was sentenced this week to spend more than 28 months in prison.
The sentence was handed down to Cleveland Meredith Jr., who showed up in Washington with guns, threatening to shoot House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Meredith had originally planned to attend the Stop the Steal rally on January 6, but his vehicle broke down, which caused him to get to Washington after the rally and attacks already ended.
From a hotel in Washington, he sent a text to his uncle on January 7 that used misogynistic terms to describe Pelosi. He also said he was considering going to a speech she was giving and “putting a bullet in her noggin on Live TV.”
Meredith’s uncle was concerned by those comments, and he contacted Meredith’s mother, who then contacted the FBI. Meredith’s mother knew her son was having difficulties with mental health and was also alarmed by the extreme posts he was making on social media.
Amy Berman Jackson, the U.S. district judge in the case, said the text that threatened Pelosi’s life wasn’t the only comment that was alarming. She also rejected an argument that Meredith made the statement in jest.
Jackson said of the comments:
“They cannot be erased by adding LOL on the end.”
Since being arrested, Meredith has spent 11 months in jail. At his sentencing hearing, he said he was not in control on January 7. Tearfully, he said he was embarrassed about being arrested and even apologized to Pelosi, saying, “I know what I did was wrong.”
Meredith brought along a military-style rifle and a handgun with him on his trip to Washington. Then, he bragged about having armor-piercing bullets and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
He also said he would “Burn DC” to the ground, after a friend told him people had breached the Capitol building. In another text, Meredith wrote he was going to collect heads of all the traitors.
Meredith also threatened the life of Muriel Bowser, the mayor of Washington, D.C., saying he might go to her office and shoot her. He’s also accused of physically assaulting someone who was in a vehicle that blocked his truck, punching and head-butting that person.
Jackson even said that Meredith believed he was going to run Pelosi over with his truck.
Meredith’s legal team argued that their client never seriously intended to actually do anything, and that his threats were just that. Their point was that the messages he sent were to friends and family.
Some of his family members said Meredith was immersed in the movement known as QAnon.
According to the judge, Meredith had mental health problems long before QAnon emerged or Joe Biden was named the winner of the 2020 presidential election. She cited past incidents including road rage and assaults to back up her claims.