Man who wore Joker masks whereas setting CPD car on fireplace throughout Could 2020 riots will get almost 3 years


The Pilsen man who set fireplace to a Chicago police car whereas sporting a Joker masks amid the town’s Could 2020 riots has been sentenced to almost three years in jail.

U.S. District Choose Andrea Wooden handed down the 34-month sentence Wednesday to Timothy O’Donnell. As a result of he has already been behind bars for 2 years, the sentence seemingly leaves O’Donnell with just some months left to serve.

“He set a automotive on fireplace in the course of a crowd,” Wooden mentioned. “He did it in a approach that was meant to focus on regulation enforcement. He did it in a approach that might have induced severe harm or dying. Luckily, it didn’t.”

O’Donnell’s case is among the many most high-profile to outcome from the rioting and looting that happened right here within the wake of George Floyd’s homicide by then-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. Its notoriety is due largely to the jarring pictures of a person in a clown masks amid the chaos that day.

And although a prosecutor mentioned in any other case, O’Donnell’s protection lawyer insisted that “he paid the value for sporting that masks that day.”

Earlier than he was sentenced, O’Donnell apologized “to these whose companies have been left in utter damage” and mentioned he was sorry “if I harm Chicago’s character in any approach.” He mentioned he was “ashamed of myself that I grew to become concerned in the issue and never a part of the answer.”

Prosecutors mentioned O’Donnell served as that day’s “poster baby,” including to its chaos “for no purpose aside from to stay out his personal fantasies.” They mentioned he recorded footage of the protests on his pill earlier than setting fireplace to the CPD car, casually joking at one level that it was a “lovely day for a barbecue.”

Federal prosecutor say this photograph depicts Timothy O’Donnell within the Joker masks.

U.S. District Court docket data

However protection attorneys Michael Leonard and Steve Greenberg wrote in a courtroom submitting that O’Donnell “is completely in contrast to the persona of him created by his sporting of the Joker masks,” which had been a birthday current. They wrote that O’Donnell “is a considerate, inventive, mental, and nonviolent particular person,” and that his mom was “a longtime member of regulation enforcement.”

O’Donnell admitted in a plea settlement final February that after approaching the unoccupied CPD car within the 200 block of North State on Could 30, 2020, he “used a lighter to ignite a chunk of fabric that he positioned within the gasoline filler” or gasoline tank of the car. The world across the gasoline tank then ignited, and the hearth unfold to the car’s inside, in keeping with the plea deal.

However O’Donnell’s protection group appeared to stroll that again of their courtroom submitting. They wrote that “Mr. O’Donnell didn’t achieve his efforts to position a rag contained in the gasoline tank and lightweight the car on fireplace. He failed.” Fairly, they wrote that video “clearly demonstrates” that “one other particular person threw an object or accelerant into or on the car, and as a direct outcome it went up in flames.”

Assistant U.S. Lawyer James Durkin acknowledged throughout Wednesday’s listening to that “there have been different folks” who made the hearth worse. However Durkin mentioned O’Donnell “began it.” And the choose pushed again towards the argument throughout Leonard’s argument.

“He set a gasoline tank on fireplace,” Wooden mentioned.

Leonard defined that there have been “actually dozens of individuals attempting to destroy that automotive,” however “nobody’s being punished aside from Mr. O’Donnell.” He even argued that O’Donnell shouldn’t be pressured to pay the total $58,000 restitution owed to CPD. The choose didn’t agree.

The protection attorneys pointed, as anticipated, to the separate case of Jacob Fagundo, a College of the Artwork Institute scholar who admitted setting fireplace to a different Chicago police car through the riots on Could 30, 2020. U.S. District Choose Robert Gettleman gave Fagundo three years of probation. In the meantime, O’Donnell has been in federal custody since June 2020.

O’Donnell’s attorneys wrote that there “is completely no principled foundation in anyway for anybody to argue” that further jail time is suitable for O’Donnell, given Fagundo’s sentence. Wooden mentioned that, “on the finish of the day each sentencing is a person resolution,” and she or he famous that Fagundo had no legal historical past, in contrast to O’Donnell.

Leonard mentioned after the listening to that he was “disillusioned” within the sentence, however he famous it was far lower than the 46 months prosecutors had sought.

Prosecutors charged O’Donnell on June 2, 2020, after investigators tied him to the incident by way of a “PRETTY” tattoo seen on the neck of the individual sporting the masks. Video supplied by a witness confirmed O’Donnell sporting the masks, holding a lit object and putting it within the gasoline tank of the CPD car.

{A photograph} taken by a witness additionally confirmed O’Donnell dealing with the gasoline tank, in keeping with the feds. In one other, O’Donnell seemed to be sitting on the bottom, sporting the Joker masks whereas the car burned.

A 3rd {photograph} apparently confirmed O’Donnell posing within the Joker masks in entrance of the burning car. In that one, the tattoo that claims “PRETTY” might be seen on the neck of the individual sporting the masks. A CPD photograph of O’Donnell revealed the identical tattoo.

A member of the family advised regulation enforcement that O’Donnell lived in a room in an condominium within the 700 block of nineteenth Place. Authorities obtained a search warrant and searched the condominium. The feds say they discovered a Joker masks in a bed room.

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