Arsonist Let Off the Hook for Murder Because He Was Just “Protesting”

Arsonist Let Off the Hook for Murder Because He Was Just

( – Montez Terriel Lee Jr. was sentenced to serve only 120 months (10-years) in federal prison for arson and killing 30-year old Oscar Lee Stewart on June 5, 2020, during a Black Lives Matter riot in Minnesota. The seemingly short jail term raises serious questions about sentences handed down to January 6 protestors for storming the US Capitol. Does the time really fit the crime in these cases?

According to court records, video footage shows Lee standing in front of the pawnshop shouting, “F*** this place. We’re gonna burn this b**** to the ground.” What Lee didn’t know was that Stewart was in the building. No one discovered his charred body until nearly two months after the tragic fire.

US Attorney W. Anders Folk asked the judge to give Lee less time than the 200-month predicted sentence during Lee’s sentencing. He argued Lee’s “motives” for setting the pawnshop on fire stemmed from police brutality against black men.

The memo read by Folk stated that Lee recognizes that he could have protested in different ways but was “caught up in a fury” like so many other protestors. The defense continued saying there was no way Lee could have predicted what the fire would do once the building caught fire; flames are chaotic and uncontrollable by nature.

Still, the amount of jail time doesn’t make much sense when comparing the sentences of January 6 protestors. For example, Robert Scott Palmer is currently serving a 63-month sentence — that’s just over five years — for throwing wooden boards and a fire extinguisher at capitol police.

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