Larry Fife Giberson ’23 was sentenced to two months in prison and six months of supervised release on home detention for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, while he was a student at Princeton.
Giberson was present in the courtroom when his sentence for civil disorder — a felony charge that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison — was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Carl J. Nichols. Prosecutors requested 11 months of incarceration and three years of supervised release, while Giberson’s defense team pushed for home detention.
Giberson must also pay $2,100 in restitution and fines.
According to the Associated Press, Giberson told the judge he regretted his “careless and thoughtless actions.”
“I don’t believe my defining moment was there on the Lower West Terrace,” he said. “Instead, I believe my defining moment is now, standing before you.”
Judge Nichols said he believed Giberson’s remorse was truthful and cited Giberson’s youth as a factor in his decision to hand down a more lenient sentence, but he also called Giberson’s actions on Jan. 6 “reprehensible.”
Giberson, who graduated with a degree in politics in May, pleaded guilty in July and waived his right to appeal the conviction, though he may appeal his sentence.
According to a sentencing memorandum written by the prosecution, Giberson “joined the rioters who stormed the West Terrace of the Capitol,” eventually entering the Lower West Terrace Tunnel and moving “directly towards the front pack of rioters, who were assaulting police officers using chemical spray and various objects,” around the same time a police officer was crushed between rioters and the tunnel doors.
With other rioters, Giberson “attempted to create a wall of stolen police shields against the line of police officers.”
After moving back to the tunnel entryway, Giberson ushered other rioters — pushing at least 10 — toward the police line, before he himself reentered the tunnel and “participated in coordinated pushing and pulling against the police” that was “both intentional and deliberate.” He chanted “drag them out!” at least three times.
Giberson later told the FBI he moved forward because, “I felt like I was obligated, in some sense, maybe, to, you know, be a more calming presence, or to help calm the crowd down.”
The prosecution’s sentencing memorandum cites inconsistencies in Giberson’s statements that do not align with video and photo evidence and described his explanation for certain conduct as “equal parts illogical and offensive, and [it] perpetuates the false narrative of the police as aggressors on January 6.”
The memorandum states Giberson was “on restricted Capitol grounds for at least an hour,” even after police used tear gas and flash bangs.
This was Giberson’s first arrest and conviction. He was originally charged with six counts in March, but as part of his plea deal, the other five counts were dismissed.
According to the defense team’s sentencing memorandum, Giberson “has long contemplated attending law school.”