A woman initially charged with several alleged offenses in connection with the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol is reportedly being ostracized in her Indiana hometown.
According to a lawyer representing hair salon owner Dona Bissey, she “has been chastised on the street and her business shunned. She had to move her salon following huge losses from a drop in clientele and because the pandemic made rental space unaffordable.”
In a sentencing memorandum, the attorney, federal public defender A.J. Kramer, added that “She lives in fear, knowing that every trip to the grocery store could result in someone angrily hurling insults or threats at her. Members of her family have been rebuked. Hate mail is regularly sent to her home address,” Business Insider reported.
In July via remote video, Bissey pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to a misdemeanor charge of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.
As part of a plea bargain, the U.S. Justice Department dropped three other charges: entering and remaining in a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, and violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, the Tribune-Star reported.
A remorseful Bissey, 53, has reportedly submitted a hand-written note to the court requesting a lenient sentence of 18 months probation. Federal prosecutors have proposed a three-year term of probation along with a $500 fine and 40 hours of community service, according to NBC Indianapolis affiliate WTHR.
Bissey reportedly described herself in the letter as a “God-fearing, country-loving, law-abiding, hard-working Patriot,” who had peacefully attended Trump rallies in the past, and also wrote, in part, that she is “deeply saddened at the events that transpired on that day.”
She is due back in court, again presumably via a virtual hearing, for sentencing on October 12.
A defendant found guilty on the one misdemeanor could face a maximum of six months in jail plus a fine as high as $5,000.
In late February, Bissey was arrested in Indiana after investigators allegedly found Facebook posts that depicted her and a friend, Anna Morgan-Lloyd, inside the Capitol. The duo was reportedly only inside the building for 10 minutes.
In June, grandmother Morgan-Lloyd pleaded guilty to the same misdemeanor, parading, demonstrating or picketing, and received a sentence of three years of probation, plus a $500 penalty, and 120 hours of community service.
Kramer said that Bissey, who is unvaccinated, “should not be incarcerated in a jail in Washington, DC, because of multiple health issues, adding that she feared she would contract COVID-19,” the Insider noted.
Watch a brief report on the case from WRTV Indianapolis:
Unlike many of the January 6 suspects who are still languishing in jail while their cases are pending, Bissey apparently was never held in a D.C. corrections facility.
At a different sentencing hearing earlier this month, a Trump-appointed federal judge in D.C. claimed that prosecutors have been treating the Jan. 6th vandals who’d rioted for a single day significantly harsher than the Black Lives Matter and Antifa rioters who’d engaged in wrongdoing for an entire summer and longer.
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