Demonstrators break the glass on a door to the Oregon State Capitol during a special legislative session in December 2020. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)
Chandler Preston Alexander Pappas was sentenced Friday to a year and one month in prison after pleading guilty to discharging mace at three police officers during a riot at the Oregon State Capitol Dec. 21, 2020.
Marion County Circuit Court Judge Courtland Geyer also sentenced Pappas to one month in prison, three years of probation and two years of post-prison supervision.
Chandler Pappas faced the most serious charges of those involved with the riot in Salem.
In a plea deal, the younger Pappas admitted to spraying mace at Salem police Sgt. Anthony Burke, officer Roger Hibbeler, and Oregon State Police Sgt. Logan Denne.
The presumptive sentence for all three charges is a probation term, but Geyer found “substantial and compelling reasons” for the prison sentence, said Keir Boettcher, Marion County deputy district attorney, in a Friday news release.
Three other counts of first-degree unlawful use of mace, criminal trespassing while in possession of a firearm, first-degree burglary and riot were dropped as part of his plea deal.
After spraying officers, Boettcher said, Pappas made his way into the Capitol building “armed with what appeared to be an AK-47 type firearm and began to taunt law enforcement by kicking the interior doors.”
Pappas, who appeared to be wearing body armor, “repeatedly and aggressively pulled the secured interior doors open until they opened and advanced on law enforcement, though no longer armed with the purported firearm,” the news release said.
Boettcher wrote that law enforcement used force to get Pappas out of the building but did not arrest him that day “due to the security risk the riot created to law enforcement.”
Chandler Pappas previously lived in Portland but now has residence in Arizona, court records showed.
He was also charged Feb. 23, 2021, with unlawful possession of a silencer in Clackamas County Circuit Court.
His sentencing came two days after his father, Alexander Pappas, 53, pleaded guilty to discharging mace against another Salem police officer during the riot at the Capitol.
Geyer sentenced him to two weeks in jail, three years of bench probation and 100 hours of community service.
A riot charge was dismissed as part of his plea deal, court records showed.
Pappas was part of a protest of Covid-related mandates which turned violent as some demonstrators attempted to enter the Capitol building, which was closed to the public, shattering a door and macing police officers.
Pappas, who lives in Clarkston Washington, admitted in the plea to spraying mace at Salem police corporal David Smith.
Prior to his hearing Wednesday afternoon, he told Salem Reporter he learned the importance of patriotism in school. “This is what I was taught. I did what I was supposed to do,” he said.
Two others were charged with riot for the demonstration – Jeremy Wayne Roberts, 40, of Albany, and Jeremiah Pruitt, 35, of Salem. Roberts is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 7. Pruitt is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 20.
Several others were arrested for their role in the Capitol protest: Ryan Lyles of Astoria, Jeremy Roberts of Albany, Ronald Van Vlack of Myrtle Point and Jeremiah Pruitt of Salem.
Lyles pleaded guilty Feb. 14 to three counts of first-degree unlawful use of mace and being a felon in possession of body armor, admitting to discharging mace against officer Smith and two other Salem officers, Brian Shaw and Albert Hodges according to a petition to enter a plea filed in court.
Lyles was sentenced to three years of probation. If probation is revoked due to a violation, he will be sentenced to a year and half in prison. Five counts of assaulting a public safety officer, one count of riot and three counts of first-degree unlawful use of mace were dismissed as part of the plea deal, court documents show.
Roberts pleaded guilty Dec. 9, 2021 to first-degree criminal mischief, menacing and harassment. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years of probation, with credit for time served on the jail sentence.
Roberts was accused of “engaging in violent, tumultuous and threatening behavior,” damaging a glass door on the right side of the Capitol the afternoon of Dec. 21, court records show. He was also accused of harassing Statesman Journal photographer Brian Hayes.
Van Vlack pleaded guilty July 14, 2021 to second-degree criminal mischief, admitting to entering the Capitol premises without permission. A charge of interfering with a peace officer was dismissed as part of his plea deal. He was ordered to pay a $100 fine.
Pruitt pleaded guilty May 25, 2021 to first-degree criminal mischief, admitting to damaging a door of the Capitol building and causing more than $1,000 in damages. A riot charge was dropped as part of the plea deal. He was sentenced to a year and a half of bench probation.
Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.
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