Capitol Riot

Feds Seek 14 Days in Jail for North Shore Brothers Charged in Capitol Riot

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Federal prosecutors have requested 14 days in jail as part of a plea deal for two Chicago-area brothers charged in connection with riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Prosecutors filed sentencing memoranda Tuesday in the cases against Christian and Mark Kulas, both of Kenilworth, sons of the owner of a popular cleaning business on the North Shore.

The brothers traveled together to Washington, D.C., and then marched with the crowd to the Capitol, authorities say. In the memos filed Tuesday, prosecutors made a case for the judge to give them a sentence of 14 days imprisonment, followed by 36 months of supervised probation, including 60 hours of community service, as well as payment of $500 in restitution.

Prosecutors noted in the memos that the brothers did not "personally engage in violence or destroy property" during the Jan. 6 attack but called them a "willful part of the mob that disrupted Congressional proceedings."

"No rioter was a mere tourist that day," the memos read. "The attack on the U.S. Capitol building and grounds was an attack on the rule of law."

In the memos, the government filed a new series of photos mapping out the Kulas brothers' movements, from then-President Donald Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally on the ellipse, to Christian Kulas' own videos posted on social media watching rioters climbing the Capitol's exterior.

The feds noted that the Kulas brothers entered the building at 2:26 p.m. through the Senate wing entrance, where doors and windows had been bashed open just 13 minutes before.

At 2:35 p.m., they made their way to the rotunda, where prosecutors say they watched - and Christian Kulas cheered - as the crowd broke open another door.

They made their way into Statuary Hall four minutes later, prosecutors say.

Mark Kulas is documented as telling investigators he "did not see barricades and did not see police giving any orders," and that he and his brother "left after learning that someone inside had been shot."

Asking for 14 days in jail, prosecutors said the brothers did the right thing by accepting responsibility and that the two-week recommendation was informed by unspecified "serious and long-standing physical and mental health issues" noted in their confidential pre-sentence investigation reports.

Still, prosecutors noted: "The gravity of these offenses demands deterrence. This was not a protest."

"And it is important to convey to future potential rioters—especially those who intend to improperly influence the democratic process—that their actions will have consequences," both memos say. "There is possibly no greater factor that this Court must consider."

Prosecutors went so far as to say that no previously sentenced Capitol riot case has contained "the same balance of aggravating and mitigating factors" as in the cases against the Kulas brothers, while submitting for consideration dozens of other sentences imposed in "comparable" cases.

The Kulas brothers' attorney said Tuesday that they planned to file their own sentencing memos for the judge to consider before the two are set to be sentenced on Apr. 26. They are two of at least 24 Capitol riot defendants from Illinois.

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