Sarah McAbee’s husband, a former sheriff’s deputy in Tennessee, was incarcerated for 26 months before he was given a trial for his role in the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
“And clearly it wasn’t a jury of his peers,” McAbee said on the “Vicki McKenna Show,” a radio program in Madison, Wisconsin.
Ronald McAbee now awaits sentencing after being convicted of five felonies in a D.C. district court. Mr. McAbee had already pled guilty to another felony and a misdemeanor related to the riot, and prosecutors are now asking the judge to give him 14 to 17 years behind bars.
Sarah McAbee, however, says her family has become victims of politically weaponized prosecutions of those involved in the Jan. 6 demonstrations. When asked by the radio show’s guest host, Federalist Senior Elections Correspondent Matt Kittle, why her husband remains behind bars 29 months later, Sarah blamed the lengthy incarceration on what her husband saw at the riot.
“I truly believe it is because he was a law enforcement officer, and he witnessed a murder happen right in front of his eyes,” Sarah said. “I believe that’s why he was held without bond. He was held 26 months before he even stepped foot in a trial.”
Sarah said her husband was at the scene where Rosanne Boyland died. Ronald apparently deployed his skills as an emergency responder to assist both a fallen officer struggling in the crowd and Boyland, to whom he gave chest compressions. Sarah uploaded a seven-minute film about her husband’s case including footage of the riot to Rumble.
“[Ronald] saw that there was a law enforcement officer down, and he told the officers, ‘You have a man down,’ and they didn’t do anything,” Sarah told Kittle. “So [Ronald] went around the barrier to get this officer up off of the ground. He was completely defenseless with protesters around him. And as he was trying to pick up this officer, another officer came up and struck him with a baton across the ribs.”
As Ronald McAbee was pleading with officers to let him help, Sarah said, Boyland was “being beaten by Metropolitan police.”
“So he did try to assist the officer. He ended up getting him back to the line of duty, but unfortunately Rosanne Boyland lost her life,” Sarah said.
“There was a third officer that watched this entire encounter go down,” Sarah added. “The officer thanked him twice for his assistance, and at the end, he even put his arm around him and said, ‘I got you, man, I got you.'”
Sarah McAbee said federal prosecutors in D.C. dismissed evidence related to her husband’s defense. Other demonstrators charged with crimes related to the Jan. 6 riot have similarly struggled to receive a fair trial in the nation’s capital. The politically charged cases have been decided by residents whom D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb says are still facing the “trauma” of the demonstration years later.
Former President Donald Trump himself faces a near-impossible defense in a D.C. courtroom despite merely giving a speech at the White House where he implored his supporters to make their voices heard “peacefully.” According to a survey from Emerson College in September, 64 percent of D.C. residents said they would vote to convict Trump, and just 8 percent said they would find him innocent. Twenty-eight percent said they were unsure. Yet Trump, along with other Jan. 6 defendants being tried in D.C. courtrooms, have been unsuccessful in their attempts to move their trials outside such a hostile environment.
Sarah McAbee is now running a nonprofit called “Stand in the Gap Foundation” to offer financial assistance to Jan. 6 defendants and their families as they await trial and sentencing.
“Most of these are over-charged and over-punished,” McAbee told Kittle, “and unfortunately the punishment is the process.”