Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson had been buddies and co-workers.
On Jan. 6, 2021, cops who nicknamed every different “dad” and “son” loaded their vehicle with food and a wood stick, met with a neighbor and drove from Rocky Mount, Virginia, to Washington, D.C. They allegedly stormed the Capitol with fueloline masks, took a photo subsequent to a statue and drove domestic discussing the “subsequent civil war.”
On Wednesday afternoon, they each confirmed up at D.C. Federal Court, yards farfar from the Capitol. One took the stand as a witness for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The different turned into the defendant.
As a part of Jacob Fracker’s plea deal for storming the Capitol, he testified on Wednesday in opposition to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in a case in opposition to his longtime pal and previous colleague Thomas Robertson. He hopes to benefit a greater lenient sentence for cooperating with the trial, he showed all through his testimony.
“Could you inform us how you are feeling approximately being right here these days?” a U.S. legal professional requested Fracker at the start of testimony.
“I clearly hate this,” Fracker stated in a shaky voice, including he “by no means notion it might be like this.”
“Why did you by no means assume that is what it might be like?” the legal professional requested.
“I’ve usually been on the alternative facet of things,” Fracker responded. “The true man facet, so as to speak.”
The testimony got here on day of the trial for Robertson, who faces 5 felonies and one misdemeanor after allegedly storming the Capitol on Jan. 6 and destroying his cellphone. Witnesses, together with cops and FBI agents, have pointed to photos from that day, at instances figuring out Robertson in short skirmishes.
Robertson’s legal professional has stated he turned into invited into the Capitol via way of means of an officer, stayed for handiest 10 mins and failed to attack all and sundry or purpose any damage.
Fracker talked substantially approximately the accumulation and aftermath of the ride with Robertson. Robertson, who’s 17 years older, served as a mentor at the pressure for Fracker, each of whom had army ties.
“Is this courting you’ve got got with him a part of why you are apprehensive these days?” a U.S. legal professional requested.
“Absolutely,” Fracker stated.
The stayed near when they had been each fired from the Rocky Mount Police Department following their arrests every week after the rebellion.
Fracker stated he gave his telecellsmartphone to Robertson withinside the days following the rebellion to “do away with it.” He stated Wednesday he does now no longer recognize what took place to it.
Fracker diagnosed Robertson as having a wood stick, which has grow to be a key thing of the trial. The prosecution says that he used it as a weapon, at the same time as Robertson’s recommend has argued that he used it as a on foot stick because of accidents sustained all through his army duty. Video suggests him the usage of it in a “port arms” position, a army and police protective tactic used to push beyond others, numerous witnesses stated.
The determined to visit the Capitol only some days earlier than after Robertson prolonged a “informal invite” to Fracker, he stated. The believed that the election turned into stolen from former President Donald Trump, and that they desired to mount strain to overturn the results.
The packed weapons and their police badges withinside the vehicle they drove thru Virginia, however in the end determined to depart them withinside the vehicle. They had been cautious approximately figuring out themselves as cops because of hostility in the direction of the ones withinside the profession, Fracker stated.
Recalling one short interplay from Jan. 6, Fracker stated he tried to vicinity himself in among officials that he believed had been separated from their organization and a crowd of rioters. One of them turned into lacking head protection, he stated, and the gang turned into “wildly getting out of hand.” The legal professional requested him if he attempted to assist police as soon as he entered the Capitol, and he stated he did now no longer. He then walked thru the Capitol, beyond damaged glass, flipped fixtures and alarms, and took snap shots as soon as he reunited with Robertson, he stated all through testimony.
The each made social media posts that had been used as reveals in court.
“CNN and the Left are simply mad due to the fact we attacked the authorities who’s the hassle and now no longer a few random small business,” Robertson wrote.
On Facebook, Fracker posted, “Lol to all and sundry who is likely involved approximately the photo of me going around… Sorry I hate freedom? …Not like I did something illegal…y’all do what you sense you want to…”
Referencing his social media posts, the U.S. legal professional requested: Do you continue to sense that manner these days, and the way do you sense sitting right here?
“The individual in the ones videos, the pictures that day, on the time it turned into all a laugh and games,” Fracker stated. “Here lately, I’ve had it offered to me or proven to me for what it is. That’s now no longer the individual I am. That’s now no longer how I act.”
“I recognize for a reality my mother might slap me withinside the face if she noticed what I turned into doing that day,” he added. “So I take a seat down right here these days simply ashamed of my actions. I failed to need to do all that stuff. But I did.”
Fracker is ready to be cross-tested via way of means of Robertson’s recommend on Thursday morning.