Two more Oath Keeper defendants sentenced for Jan. 6 sedition

ByQuinn Owen ABCNews logo
Friday, June 2, 2023

Two more Oath Keeper defendants were sentenced Friday, the latest in a series of new prison terms for those convicted of disrupting the Jan. 6 certification of the 2020 election.

Oath Keeper David Moerschel, a former neuroscientist, was sentenced to three years in prison for seditious conspiracy and other charges. He was joined by his co-defendant Joseph Hackett, who was sentenced to three years and six months on Friday. Both sentences were a fraction of the recommendation from prosecutors who said Moerschel and Hackett each deserved 10 and 12 years, respectively.

Last January, the two were found guilty of conspiring to commit sedition against the United States. That jury convicted both men of three additional felonies, finding they had plans to disrupt the electoral college certification and were -- at least partially -- successful.

Hackett, a former chiropractor from Florida, was also found guilty for destroying evidence.

"I regret being there that day," Hackett told the judge Friday. "I regret ever joining the Oath Keepers."

He said his wife and young daughter have received threats since he was first identified as someone who breached the Capitol.

"I did this to my family," he said. "I am the reason we are not enjoying a happy and normal life."

Moerschel and Hackett were part of a group of nine Oath Keeper defendants charged with seditious conspiracy for hatching a plot to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden's election victory. Eight have been sentenced over the past two weeks including Stewart Rhodes, the defiant Oath Keepers founder who received the longest sentence connected to the Jan. 6 riot -- 18 years -- last week.

Kelly Meggs, one of Rhodes' chief lieutenants, was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Several of the sentences handed down included an enhancement for terrorism.

Moerschel expressed regret to the court on Friday and said he was wrong to take orders from top Oath Keepers on Jan. 6, 2021.

"I don't mean anything bad about Kelly Meggs, but he's a used car salesman," he said. "It was really dumb to follow that guy."