Kyle Fitzsimons wore a white butcher’s jacket and a fur pelt during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Calling him “one of the most violent and aggressive participants” from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, federal prosecutors are recommending that a Maine man serve more than 15 years in prison.

Kyle Fitzsimons, a 39-year-old butcher from Lebanon, was convicted of 11 charges in September, most of them felonies, for assaulting members of law enforcement with a deadly weapon while obstructing an official proceeding. He was one of hundreds who breached the U.S. Capitol while members of Congress were certifying the 2020 Electoral College vote count, threatening the peaceful transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden.

Fitzsimons is scheduled to be sentenced on June 13. If accepted, the 15-year recommendation would be one of the highest delivered for cases involving the breach of the Capitol. Yet prosecutors noted in the Friday filing that 15 years is “at the bottom of Fitzsimons’ sentencing guidelines.” His charges total up to more than 90 years of potential prison time.

Federal prosecutors are also recommending three years of supervised release and roughly $26,000 in restitution. Their proposal takes into account Fitzsimons’ “repeated violence” against law enforcement on Jan. 6, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Gordon and Douglas Brasher wrote, as well as his “utter lack of remorse, his efforts to profit from his crime, and the urgent need to deter others from engaging in political violence.”

Fitzsimons’ attorney, federal defender Jonathan McDonald, is expected to file a response to Gordon’s and Brasher’s memo by June 2. Reached by phone Saturday, McDonald told the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram that he had no comment regarding prosecutors’ recommendation.

In their 46-page sentencing memorandum, Brasher and Gordon described Fitzsimons’ multiple assaults against police officers outside the West Terrace of the Capitol, all of which were captured on video and played for U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras during Fitzsimons’ four-day bench trial in August.


Contreras also heard from three of the officers whom Fitzsimons assaulted: Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, Metropolitan Police Detective Phuson Nguyen and Metropolitan Police Officer Sarah Beaver.


The week before Fitzsimons drove from Lebanon to D.C., he persuaded a neighbor to post a call-out on Facebook for “able bodies” to accompany him. He also left two “intimidating and implicitly threatening” voice messages with staff for Rep. Jared Golden, D-2nd District, claiming election fraud.

Fitzsimons spent the early afternoon of Jan. 6 at a Trump rally. He returned to the Capitol about 4:15 p.m., wearing a white butcher’s jacket and a fur pelt, carrying a 6-foot-long unstrung bow.

He pushed his way through the mob that was already forming to get to the Lower West Terrace, where a tunnel led from the inaugural stage to the basement of the Capitol building. There were more than 50 officers blocking the entrance.

Fitzsimons threw his bow at officers like a spear, hitting Beaver in the head. He could be seen on video minutes later, swiping at Phuson’s gas mask and exposing the officer to a cloud of bear spray.


“Fitzsimons preparing for his final charge and flurry of wild punches,” prosecutors wrote of this still image from Jan. 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol. U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Eventually, video images show Fitzsimons pulling on Gonell’s shoulder as the he was helping another officer who fell. Fitzsimons pulled on his arm so forcefully that Gonell testified in August that he later needed surgery. Prosecutors said the injury led Gonell to resign from the Capitol Police.

Twenty seconds went by before another officer struck Fitzsimons, causing him to release Gonell, prosecutors said.

So far, Fitzsimons is the only Maine resident charged for his actions on Jan. 6 who has gone to trial.

The next day, Fitzsimons called into a Lebanon town Select Board meeting and told members that he “could not imagine a more peaceful revolution.”

Since then, prosecutors wrote, Fitzsimons has continued to misrepresent the events of Jan. 6. He has given three interviews from jail in D.C. while awaiting his sentencing, according to the memorandum. In an interview earlier this year, prosecutors said Fitzsimons encouraged listeners “to spread the false narrative that he and other Jan. 6 defendants are being politically persecuted for their beliefs and not their conduct.”

Fitzsimons’ sentencing has been rescheduled at least twice. He was appointed a new public defense attorney in March after his attorney from trial, Natasha Taylor-Smith, resigned from the federal defender’s office, according to court records.


Several others with Maine ties have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced for their roles in the insurrection. Glen Mitchell Simon, a former Minot resident who moved to Georgia, was sentenced to eight months in prison in August after pleading guilty to disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted area. Nicholas Hendrix of Gorham was sentenced to 30 days in prison in December for parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.

At least two Maine men weren’t charged until this year. David Ball of Wells was charged in March with four misdemeanors and faces up to three years in prison. Christopher Maurer, 45, of Biddeford pleaded not guilty on May 18 to seven counts of violence and civil disorder for his alleged role on Jan. 6.

Two members of the Oath Keepers were sentenced Friday to prison terms, a day after the far-right extremist group’s founder, Stewart Rhodes, received a record-setting 18 years behind bars for his part in the insurrection.

Jessica Watkins of Woodstock, Ohio, was sentenced to eight years and six months behind bars, and Kenneth Harrelson of Titusville, Florida, was sentenced to four years.

This report includes material from the Associated Press.

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