KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville man has been sentenced to prison for participating in the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol last year.
A federal judge on Thursday sentenced Cliff Meteer to 60 days in prison followed by 36 months of probation with conditions. He is also ordered to pay $500 in restitution.
Meteer, 67, pled guilty in January to parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building as part of an agreement with prosecutors. Other charges including disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building as well as entering and remaining on the floor of Congress were dropped as part of the agreement.
The demonstrating in a Capitol building charge carries a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment, up to five years probation and a fine of up to $5,000.
In an August interview with WATE, Meteer called his arrest ‘unnecessary’ and the events inside the Capitol building a, “peaceful process.”
Meteer signed a “statement of offense” as part of the agreement acknowledging the events at the Capitol that day and that he entered the building without permission.
According to the document, Meteer entered the Senate wing door just before 2:30 p.m. and walked through the Capitol building towards the House Chamber until law enforcement forcibly removed him and others through the east front door at approximately 2:55 p.m.
Documents state Meteer sent several messages through private messaging on Facebook, saying ”I was in the capital ;)” and “I was one of those idiots scaling the wall ;).”
The state of offense said Meteer refused to answer questions from FBI agents about whether he entered the Capitol building when a warrant was executed at his Knoxville home. Law enforcement said 10 firearms and ammunition were found in his home during the raid.
At least 16 Tennesseans have either pleaded guilty or face multiple charges stemming from the events of Jan. 6, ranging from civil disorder to assaulting officers and obstruction.