Bryce Michael Williams, 27, of Staples, Minnesota sentenced to 27 months in prison over Minneapolis Precinct Arson case

Williams is the fourth and final defendant to be sentenced in this case

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The fourth and final man charged with helping to burn down a Minneapolis police precinct during a riot last summer over the death of George Floyd has been sentenced to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay $12 million in restitution.

Bryce Michael Williams, 27, of Staples, Minnesota, will serve another two years of supervised release. He was sentenced under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. His request for a probationary sentence was denied; Williams was deemed not to have a minor role in the crime.

Court documents allege that Williams went to the Third Precinct, where a crowd of hundreds had gathered on the night of May 28, 2020. The group began shouting, “Burn it down, burn it down.” A fence that was designed to keep trespassers out of the building was torn down.

In the federal system, a defendant is usually sentenced in accordance with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, a system designed to effectuate fairness throughout the country. In other words,  where defendants are similarly situated, once the nature of the crime and the defendant’s personal history is established, the sentences should be roughly the same. It is common for the parties to reach plea deals that are somewhat open-ended. For example, as in this case, the defendant apparently reserved his right to argue that he should be sentenced below the established Guideline sentence, citing mitigating circumstances (such as the claim that the defendant was not a major player in the conspiracy).

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