Pizzagate gunman Edgar Maddison Welch jailed after acting on restaurant conspiracy theory

Elias Hubbard
June 24, 2017

A man who drove all the way from North Carolina to Washington DC and opened fire inside a pizza restaurant because of an internet conspiracy theory was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday, the BBC reports.

Shortly before 3 p.m. December 4, Welch parked and left a loaded 12-gauge shotgun and box of shells in the auto, then walked into the restaurant carrying a loaded, six-shot revolver on his hip and holding the 9mm long rifle with about 29 rounds of ammunition across his chest. According to BBC, the 28-year-old fired his assault rifle into a locked cabinet in his fruitless search for abused children.

Judge Ketanji B. Jackson said of her decision for a longer sentence, "The extent of recklessness in this case is breathtaking".

"Neither me or any of my peers did anything to deserve this", said one employee. He has had very few issues with the law in the past but the sentence exceeded the average sentence of 37-months for "similar charges" and far exceeded the defense's plea for an 18-month sentence.

No one was injured in what prosecutors described as an "armed invasion". In March 2016, protesting families came from as far as Canada and California to march in Washington to demand the truth about Comet Ping Pong be outed.

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Welch's lawyer asked federal court Judge Ketanji B. Jackson for an 18-month sentence, noting that the father of two had admitted responsibility and "expressed honest remorse".

Pizzagate gunman Edgar Maddison Welch jailed after acting on restaurant conspiracy theory
Pizzagate gunman Edgar Maddison Welch jailed after acting on restaurant conspiracy theory

Welch must also pay more than $5,000 to the restaurant for the damages he caused. She stated that Welch was acting out of concern for the children in the alleged "sex-ring".

In their own filing, prosecutors wrote that the fact that no one was shot was "entirely the product of good luck - the fortuitous facts that nobody interfered with the defendant's progress and that nobody was behind the door which he ultimately shot through".

The restaurant's owner, James Alefantis, said in court that the "viscous web of lies" about his business has been traumatic for him and his staff. He added that he hoped that "one day in a more truthful time we will remember this day as an aberration".

But several of witnesses forgave Welch. The victims blame the fake news websites that built up the conspiracy.

Podesta's correspondence with Alefantis also fanned the flames of speculation.

Upon his release from prison, Welch will receive a mental health assessment. After a sharp back-and-forth with Jackson, Jahn agreed to the terms.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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