D.C. judge orders Independence man to jail for violating probation in Jan. 6 case

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has ordered an Independence man to jail for violating probation in his Capitol riot case.

Devin Rossman, who from late January until his arrest April 3 was listed as a fugitive for failing to appear at a hearing on the violations, was sentenced by Judge Beryl A. Howell on Tuesday to five months’ incarceration.

The hearing, at which Rossman conceded to the violations, was held in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Rossman, 40, had hearings in two federal courts last week to deal with his case — first on April 8 in Kansas City, then three days later in the District of Columbia.

At the April 8 hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Marquez said Rossman should remain in custody, calling him “a flight risk and a danger to the community.”

Marquez said Rossman had continued his alcohol use, which was a violation of his bond conditions, and noted that Rossman recently had been charged with driving while intoxicated.

But after hearing testimony from Rossman’s employer, who praised his work ethic and said he’d recently been promoted to maintenance supervisor at a North Kansas City apartment complex, U.S. Magistrate Judge W. Brian Gaddy ordered him to be released pending his return to federal court in D.C.

The government quickly appealed Gaddy’s decision, but at a hearing in D.C. on Thursday, Howell agreed with Gaddy and allowed Rossman to remain free until Tuesday’s hearing on his alleged probation violations.

His freedom, however, was short-lived. Rossman is now in custody in the D.C. Central Detention Facility, where other Jan. 6 defendants are being held, jail records show.

Rossman was charged in May 2022 with four misdemeanors in connection with the Jan. 6 riot. According to court records, he entered the Capitol just minutes after the initial breach and remained inside for about an hour and 53 minutes.

While roaming through the Capitol, court records said, Rossman eventually reached then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office suite, a restricted area.

Rossman “entered the Speaker’s Office suite and tried to open doors while the Speaker’s terrified staffers sought shelter under their desks,” the court documents said, and he took photos and bragged to friends in Facebook messages about entering the area. He expressed little remorse for his actions, the government said.

Rossman pleaded guilty in September 2022 to one count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building and was sentenced in December 2022 to 36 months’ probation with a condition of intermittent incarceration and a $2,000 fine.

He also was ordered to pay $500 restitution for damage to the Capitol, which prosecutors say totaled more than $2.9 million.

On Nov. 15, the U.S. Probation Office filed a petition alleging Rossman had violated probation by failing to make the required payments toward restitution; using or possessing alcohol on Sept. 19, 2023; failing to notify his probation officer of a change in employment status; and failing to attend some required classes.

The Probation Office asked the court to issue a summons and schedule a hearing. The hearing date was continued twice at Rossman’s request — his lawyer said he was having “continued financial struggles” and needed more time to make cost-effective travel arrangements.

The day before the Jan. 26 hearing, Rossman requested to attend it virtually instead of in person. Howell quickly denied the request, and the next day, he failed to show up. And for the next 68 days, he was listed as a fugitive.