(CNN) — Two West Virginia brothers who brought bats to the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021 were sentenced Thursday by a federal judge in Washington.
Eric Cramer, 43, who pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace in a restricted area and trying to take a baton from a police officer, was sentenced to eight months in prison. His brother, Country Cramer, 38, who entered the Capitol for two minutes on Jan. 6, 2021, was sentenced to 45 days of house arrest after pleading guilty to unlawful protesting or picketing.
The brothers traveled to Washington together to support members of Congress who were challenging the certification of the 2020 Electoral College vote in several states, under their plea agreement.
While on Capitol Hill, Eric Cramer, who wore a gas mask all day and carried a baseball bat, grabbed a police officer’s baton and tried to wrest it from his hands before another officer stepped forward and Cramer backed up. the judge said during the hearing.
Eric Cramer posted a photo on Facebook of a police baton which he wrote he took “from the cop who hit me with it… so I guess that’s my trophy,” according to court documents.
Judge Randolph Moss told Eric Cramer that the Justice Department could have charged him with a felony for interfering with law enforcement officers and that the baseball bat, although there is no evidence that it was ever used as a weapon, it worried him a lot.
Someone carrying a baseball bat was likely “engaging in threatening behavior unless they were walking up to home plate,” Moss said.
“It’s more and more disturbing the more I see,” Moss said of the attack on the Capitol. “It was one of the most unfortunate days in our country.”
Before being sentenced, Eric Cramer apologized for his actions and said he understood how the bat could be seen as a threat, adding that he only brought it for protection after seeing how violent some protests had become over the past year.
“However, I know in my heart that I was not there for anything negative,” Eric Cramer told the judge.
According to investigators, the FBI received a tip from a classmate of Eric Cramer’s daughter, after she posted a photo of Cramer’s Facebook post bragging about the cane. “MY DAD Y’ALL”, her daughter would have written, adding a rock and roll emoji along with one of an American flag.
Prosecutors did not mention the baton during Thursday’s sentencing and the plea agreement does not say whether the baton in the photo was stolen from a police officer.
Country Cramer brought with her a miniature baseball bat, which she told the judge she kept in her backpack while on the Capitol grounds.
“If I had known how that day would have turned out, I never would have come,” Country Cramer told the judge. He added that he carried the small bat and wore a helmet because he expected to walk back to his car in the dark that night and “that can be a little scary,” citing past violent protests.