Edgewater man to be sentenced for Jan. 6, 2021, attack on Capitol

Howard Adams of Edgewater is shown in this image taken during the Capitol Riots on Jan. 6, 2021. Howard is to be sentenced on April 13 in Washington, D.C.

Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to sentence an Edgewater man to a year in prison for his role in the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. But a defense attorney wrote that probation without incarceration would be a fair sentence.

Howard B. Adams, 62, is scheduled to be sentenced April 13 before federal Judge Beryl A. Howell in Washington, D.C.

As part of a plea agreement, Adams pleaded guilty Jan. 26 to obstructing, impeding or interfering with a law enforcement officer. Adams faced up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised released and a fine of up to $250,000. He was originally charged with six counts of various charges related to the riot.

Federal prosecutors are recommending the judge sentence Adams to 12 months and one day in prison, followed by three years’ supervised release; they are also recommending Adams be ordered to pay $2,000 restitution and a special assessment of $100.

Prosecutors are also asking for a $900 fine, which they said is the same amount raised by a GiveSendGo page created by Adams' wife which described him as a “J-6 Patriot.”

Howard B. Adams of Edgewater (circled in yellow) is told to back away from doors by police during Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the Capitol.

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Adams’ defense attorney, Gregory Smith in Washington, D.C., wrote in a response that a fair sentence would be consistent with the probation office’s recommendation of up to two years of probation or supervised release, $2,000 restitution, and a “modest fine” and special assessment. He wrote that Adams should not be incarcerated.

Another Volusia County man, Joseph Biggs, a Volusia County Proud Boys leader, is currently on trial in a Washington, D.C., federal court on charges related to the U.S. Capitol riot.

Adams part of riot that tried to prevent peaceful transition of power

But the pre-sentence document from prosecutors stated that “factors weigh in favor of a significant term of incarceration.” It states that Adams “was part of a massive riot that almost succeeded in preventing the certification vote from being carried out, frustrating the peaceful transition of Presidential power, and throwing the United States into a Constitutional crisis.”

Howard Adams of Edgewater is shown in this image taken during the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, 2021. Adams is set to be sentenced on April 13 in Washington, D.C.

“Adams’ criminal conduct, placing himself at the front of a mob and breaking through multiple police lines outside and inside the Capitol building, was the epitome of disrespect for the law,” the document states.

The document states Adams was screaming and waving an American flag “adulterated” with a snake image through the Capitol.

Adams tried to enter the House Chamber but failed. He walked directly at a line of police forcing officers to push him out of the Rotunda, the document stated. Adams spent about 49 minutes inside the Capitol.

Adams' intentional falsehoods when questioned by the FBI showed a lack of remorse and he failed to appear in court twice in November, the document stated.

Adams has no prior criminal record

In a response, Smith, Adams' attorney, wrote that Adams has no criminal record and runs a business called High Rise Caulking LLC, which specializes in leak repairs on tall buildings. The attorney also presented some letters of support from Adams' wife and others.

Smith wrote that Adams did not fight with police, and that the physical contact described as "colliding" with officers may have been initiated by police pushing Adams.

He wrote that Adams will now have a felony conviction, meaning he will be unable to have a firearm for hunting and will lose his parachute rigger certification. Adams moved to Florida in 2002 to start a now-defunct skydiving instruction business.

The attorney notes that Adams has already spent about 60 days in jail. Adams was arrested in November after failing to show for two hearings.

Adams declares himself a 'Georgian'

The judge in November dismissed a motion written by Adams which the judge described as a “nonsensical filing” based on Adams’ “adherence to the 'sovereign citizen'" belief that the court lacks jurisdiction. The judge noted case law that Adams was in the United States at the time that he allegedly committed the crime, ending any dispute over jurisdiction.

In the letter dated Aug. 4, 2022, Adams, who was born in Georgia, declared himself a “Georgian.”

Adams' letter stated "I do not consent to being governed by the United States of America, Inc," which it described as "a for profit corporation."

Adams has renounced his brief association with a “sovereign persons sect,” his defense attorney said.

This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Edgewater man's attorney asks for leniency in Capitol riot sentencing