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Salt Lake riot suspect pleads guilty; former Hill airman, 3 others still face trial

By Mark Shenefelt standard-Examiner - | May 25, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY — One of five people arrested on federal charges after the Salt Lake City riot last year has pleaded guilty to civil disorder and faces up to five years in prison.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office originally charged Jackson Patton, 27, with arson, which carried a penalty of five to 20 years in prison, but he agreed to a plea bargain on the lesser charge last week, according to U.S. District Court records.

Three others, including former Hill Air Force Base airman Larry Raynold Williams Jr., 23, remain scheduled for trial July 16. The other two are Christopher Rosas and Latroi Newbins.

Prosecutors on May 20 filed a reduced charge of civil disorder against a fifth defendant, Lateesha Richards, possibly signaling a plea negotiation.

The five were charged after a downtown Salt Lake protest over the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis turned violent. They were accused of participating in the burning of an overturned Salt Lake police patrol car. In charging documents, prosecutors presented visual evidence they said showed suspects lighting burning materials and putting them inside the car.

Williams, who lived in West Haven at the time, was discharged by the Air Force on Feb. 23 “due to the pending federal matter,” according to a U.S. Pretrial Services letter filed in U.S. District Court.

Williams, who prosecutors said wore a gas mask from Hill during the riot, is free pending trial.

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