Ohio man who stole items from Capitol on Jan. 6 gets a 40-day prison sentence
This screenshot from surveillance footage shows a pair of Columbus-area men, Dustin Byron Thompson (top circle) and Robert Anthony Lyon (bottom circle), who have been convicted in federal court of illegally entering the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and stealing bottles of liquor, a Capitol Police pager and a coat rack.
By Jordan Laird - The Columbus Dispatch
A Reynoldsburg man convicted in federal court of illegally entering the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021, and helping a Columbus man he was with steal liquor and a coat rack — which he called their “trophy” in texts — is facing 40 days behind bars.

Robert Anthony Lyon, 28, initially told authorities in the weeks after the Jan.

6 insurrection that he did not enter the Capitol, but photos from the assault on the building proved otherwise, according to court documents. In March of this year, Lyon pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges: theft of government property and disorderly conduct in a restricted building, according to court documents.

In exchange, prosecutors dropped other charges.

U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton in Washington, D.C., sentenced Lyon on Thursday to 40 days incarceration — less than half of the 90 days requested by the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia. Walton also ordered Lyon to serve one year of probation after he is released and to pay a $1,000 fine and $2,000 in restitution for damages.

“I think a message has to be sent to you and just as importantly, has to be sent to others that this kind of conduct is not acceptable,”

Walton said.

Walton said he is fearful for the country’s future because there are still millions of Americans who believe the lie former President Donald Trump and others continue to tell that the 2020 election was stolen.

Lyon’s codefendant, Dustin Byron Thompson, 38, of Columbus, tried to fight at trial the charges against him for his involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection, but a jury found him guilty in April of felony obstruction of an official proceeding, and five misdemeanor offenses. Thompson’s attorney, Columbus-area lawyer Sam Shamansky, unsuccessfully argued at trial that Thompson was not at fault because Trump’s words directed Thompson to join the mob and act like he did on Jan. 6.

Walton was scheduled to sentence Thompson on Friday, but that has been rescheduled to Nov. 18.

Federal prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo that Lyon and Thompson entered the Senate Parliamentarian’s office, where insurrectionists were looting the office. The Senate Parliamentarian and her staff played a key role in the Congressional certification of the 2020 presidential election, which the insurrectionists sought to disrupt, prosecutors said.

Thompson stole bottles of liquor, a coat rack and a U.S. Capitol Police pager at various times that day, according to court documents.

But prosecutors pointed out Lyon guarded the stolen coat rack, which he called their “trophy” in texts to Thompson, while Thompson went back to the front lines of the attack on the Capitol.

Thompson admitted in a letter to the court to drinking from a stolen bottle of bourbon.

Lyon apologized at his sentencing hearing Thursday, saying he realized that entering the Capitol that day was illegal. He said he tried to persuade Thompson not to enter, but he ultimately went in with Thompson.

“I came to realize the event had become non-peaceful and unlawful,” he said. “I took no part in destruction or violence. I’ve come to realize that my presence contributed to the boldness of rioters. I do deeply regret going in there.”