(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — A western Pennsylvania man has been sentenced for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Robert Morss, 29, of Glenshaw, Pennsylvania, was sentenced Wednesday to 66 months in prison for assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon, obstruction of an official proceeding, and robbery, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Pennsylvania reports.
Morss was arrested on June 11, 2021, and convicted on August 23, 2022. He is being charged along with 8 other co-defendants. Six of the codefendants, including Morss, have now been sentenced.
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, all of the codefendants were reported to have illegally entered the Capitol grounds. They joined in the violence that occurred in the tunnel area of the Capitol’s Lower West Terrace.
From 2:40 p.m., law enforcement officers maintained a line at the second set of glass doors inside the tunnel leading from the inaugural platform to the entrance to the Capitol. Those officers fought a group of rioters – including the defendants – inside the tunnel, protecting the doors, until 3:19 p.m. when they cleared them from the tunnel.
Clashes continued throughout the afternoon.
Morss joined the crowd gathering on the West Front of the Capitol grounds at 2 p.m. He was wearing a vest with body armor plates and had a black knife sheath and scissors.
The court documents report Morss then moved to the front of the line of rioters squaring off with law enforcement officers. He attempted to steal a police-issued baton from an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). He also removed a bike rack fence from the control of an MPD sergeant, leaving no barrier between the police officers and rioters. He is reported to have yelled out to several officers, “Take a look around. We are going to take our Capitol back.”
Morss then joined a line of rioters that pushed officers back and followed them up to the Lower West Terrace.
At 3:03 p.m., he participated with other rioters to rock against the police line. He took a riot shield from an MPD detective and passed it back in the tunnel, towards other rioters. He and others then created a wall of shields that they used to continue with the heave-ho efforts against the police line.
Morss later joined several other rioters in climbing through a broken window where he entered an office within the Capitol, took a chair, and passed it out of the broken window to the rioters outside.
The cases were investigated by the FBI’s Washington, Pittsburgh, and Dallas Field Offices. Assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the Eastern District of Texas, and the Eastern District of Virginia.
In the 28 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,000 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 320 people charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.