LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas man facing several years in prison for his involvement on Jan. 6 said he “naively supported the former president as violence escalated,” documents said.
Last summer, Nathaniel “Nate” DeGrave pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, and assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers. As part of his plea agreement, DeGrave was released from custody and allowed to return to Nevada. He could spend several years in prison if a judge agrees with federal prosecutors, documents said.
In documents filed Wednesday, federal prosecutors asked a judge to sentence DeGrave to 37 months in prison, with three years of supervised release. Prosecutors also want DeGrave to pay $2,000 in restitution and a $50,000 fine.
DeGrave, who is originally from Pennsylvania, spoke exclusively with the 8 News Now Investigators in October 2021.
“I’ve lost a lot since I’ve been in here,” DeGrave said from jail, adding he was at the U.S. Capitol to shoot a documentary. “We’re not extremists. We’re not domestic terrorists.”
Prosecutors cite the 8 News Now Investigators’ reporting, writing, “These statements give pause as to whether DeGrave has fully internalized the wrongfulness of his conduct on January 6..”
On the day of the riot, DeGrave, Ronald “Ronnie” Sandlin, and a third man, Josiah Colt, of Idaho, met in a hotel room in Maryland and later entered the Capitol. Prosecutors said DeGrave assaulted at least two U.S. Capitol Police officers and was armed with bear spray, according to documents.
“DeGrave later bragged to Colt, ‘I punched this guy, like, five times,’ adding, ‘he didn’t see my face though,’” prosecutors wrote in court documents. “After breaching the Senate Chamber, DeGrave shouted down at Colt and others on the Senate floor to open the doors on that level as well as ‘take laptops, paperwork, take everything, all that [expletive].’”
Sandlin is currently serving his 63-month sentence.
A photo posted on DeGrave’s Facebook page, which has since been deactivated, showed a photo of former President Donald Trump in his apartment with the caption, “My idol in my living room.” DeGrave told the 8 News Now Investigators it was common for Americans to have a picture of the president, former or current, in their homes.
“I fully believed that the election would be overturned by [Vice President Mike] Pence and I knew that it was going to be historical,” DeGrave told the 8 News Now Investigators. “I was excited, but at the same time, I was very concerned for my safety.”
DeGrave had said he planned to run for Las Vegas mayor in 2024. He had been incarcerated since his arrest in January 2021.
In the months after Jan. 6, DeGrave raised more than $120,000 where he called himself “a political prisoner,” prosecutors said.
DeGrave’s attorney, William Shipley, also wrote to the judge, asking for 2 years in prison.
“Nathaniel’s desire for fame and recognition, which had dominated his professional and personal life after moving to Las Vegas, led him to make decisions, including purchasing attention-grabbing outfits and making outlandish statements, which he never imagined at the time would be a meaningful backdrop for his conduct on January 6 – and this prosecution,” Shipley wrote.
A letter from DeGrave to the judge is also included in the court documents filed Wednesday.
“I want to start by expressing deep regret for my actions on January 6, which caused fear and harm to both the victims and our democratic institutions,” DeGrave wrote. “I initially sought connection and income but naively supported the former president as violence escalated. I take full responsibility for my actions and my harmful, irresponsible statements.”
In addition to helping prosecutors, DeGrave said he mentored other jail inmates and learned Spanish.
DeGrave faces a maximum sentence of 28 years in prison as part of his plea agreement. Sentencing was scheduled for Wednesday, May 10.
The FBI has arrested four people from the Las Vegas area arrested for their alleged roles on Jan. 6.