Lawyers prepare for closing arguments as former Virginia police officer stands trial

Picture of Thomas Robertson inside the U.S. Capitol, according to prosecutors.
Picture of Thomas Robertson inside the U.S. Capitol, according to prosecutors.
Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 6:22 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The prosecution and defense are preparing for closing arguments in the trial of former Rocky Mount police officer Thomas Robertson. He’s charged with six crimes related to his alleged actions on and after the January 6th insurrection (2021) at the U.S. Capitol.

Federal prosecutors and Robertson’s defense team are scheduled to give their closing arguments on Friday morning after resting their respective cases on Thursday. After that, it will be up to the jury to decide whether Robertson is guilty on any or all of the six charges brought against him by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Thursday, Jacob Fracker, the former co-worker and former co-defendant who came to Washington, DC with Robertson on January 6th, continued his testimony. Fracker told the court that he believed he and the crowd had successfully overturned the 2020 election on January 6th, 2021 because they had made it inside the Capitol. He also testified that he and Robertson made no plans to do anything illegal before going to the Capitol.

The defense made its case in about 12 minutes, calling two of Robertson’s friends to the stand. The focus was mostly on whether those friends have previously seen Robertson use a stick to help him walk; both said they had.

Prosecutors allege the stick Robertson brought into the Capitol is a weapon, and say Robertson used it to obstruct police officers at one point. The defense maintains that Robertson only brought the stick to DC that day because he wanted to use it to help him walk after being injured back in 2011.

Prosecutors also showed a text message the FBI obtained off Robertson’s phone. The agent testifying said she found a text sent by Robertson stating that he can still run a mile with a heavy backpack at 48 years old and saying that he’s, “as dangerous as I will ever will be.” The message was time stamped nearly three months after the insurrection at the Capitol.

Robertson spoke for the first time in this trial. He told the judge that he would not be testifying.

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