“I do hope that one of the lessons you've learned from this is that you do have to think for yourself, not accept what people just tell you is the truth,” she said.
In a letter to the judge before his sentencing hearing, Croy said he is “guilty of being an idiot and walking into that building” and has no excuse for joining the mob that stormed the Capitol.
More than 650 people have been charged with federal crimes in connection with the Capitol siege. Croy is one of over two dozen rioters who have been sentenced so far.
Prosecutors had recommended a sentence of two months imprisonment for Croy. His attorney requested a sentence of one year of probation with community service.
Howell questioned why a short jail term, without a longer term of court supervision, would be the best way to ensure that Croy “stays on a law-abiding path.”
Croy traipsed through the Capitol “as if it was an amusement park” after seeing police clash with rioters for more than an hour, prosecutors said.
He entered the Capitol twice that day, staying inside for a total of about 30 minutes and later bragged about his actions to friends.
While inside, Croy "treated the Capitol like a vacation: he walked freely around the Capitol, took what he apparently perceived to be fun photos and videos of other rioters dressing statues, and posed for his own photograph by a statue that he later sent to his friends,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing.
Croy, of Colorado Springs, was arrested in February. He pleaded guilty in August to a charge of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of six months in prison.
Croy wasn’t accused of being violent or damaging property on Jan. 6.
Several days before former President Donald Trump's “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, Croy responded to a tweet by Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, who asked, “Who is going to be in DC on January 6th to stand with President Trump?”
“Fellow Coloradan we will be there,” Croy replied.
Croy believed Trump's baseless claim that the election had been stolen, but he wasn't trying to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's electoral victory, said defense attorney Kira Anne West.
“Now he knows that he was misled by his president,” West said.
Croy went to the Capitol with Terry Lindsey, an Ohio man who also was charged with joining the riot. The case against Lindsey is pending.