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Former Proud Boys leader-turned-cooperator gets reduced sentence in January 6 case

Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC./Samuel Corum/Getty Images/File

(CNN) — A former Proud Boys lieutenant and US Marine, whose cooperation was key to the prosecution of the far-right group’s leaders for conspiring to stop Joe Biden from becoming president on January 6, 2021, was sentenced Tuesday to 40 months in prison.

Charles Donohoe, 35, was the first of the Proud Boys leadership to enter a guilty plea and assist the prosecutors in their case, which resulted in the conviction of several leaders in the group of seditious conspiracy.

Donohoe pleaded guilty to two felony charges related to the US Capitol attack for conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding on January 6 and assaulting an officer by throwing two water bottles at police during the riot.

During Donohoe’s sentencing Tuesday, prosecutor Jason McCullough cited his “contribution to” the investigation into the group’s leadership and their plot to stop Biden’s election, adding that Donohoe detailed “the scope of that conspiracy.”

Prosecutors asked for a significant reduction in sentencing for Donohoe because of his cooperation, which the judge, Timothy Kelly, approved.

Donohoe has already served nearly 38 months of his 40-month sentence.

McCullough said that on January 6, Donohoe “acted as the eyes and ears” for the group, reporting movements and actions to Proud Boy chats, and that Donohoe was following the orders from the group’s top leaders.

One of Donohoe’s defense attorneys, Ira Knight, told the judge that Donohoe “has eagerly divorced himself from the Proud Boys.”

Donohoe stood in front of the judge with his parents, grandparents, brother, aunts and uncles and his girlfriend sitting in the gallery behind him. He told the judge he wanted to apologize to the entire country for his actions as well as law enforcement officers who were attacked.

“I knew what I was doing was illegal from the very moment those barricades were knocked down,” Donohoe said, recounting the attack on the Capitol.

The former Proud Boy also pointed to the hypocrisy of his actions as someone who claimed to love the US and its Constitution yet attacked the democratic process itself.

In his sentencing, Kelly noted that Donohoe “provided some leadership” and was more than just a foot soldier that day.

“You helped organize a group of people” to use violence and stop Congress from certifying the electoral votes, Kelly said. “There was nothing patriotic about it.”

But Kelly said Donohoe was now on the correct course.

“You’ve done just about everything you could possibly do to amend that mistake,” Kelly said of the former Proud Boy’s actions around January 6. “I don’t think you need my ‘good luck.’”