Athens man sentenced in Jan. 6 case

Athens-area resident Noland Harold Kidd, seen here speaking to an independent journalist outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was sentenced Monday, May 9, 2022, to 45 days imprisonment in a plea agreement for his role in the U.S. Capitol riot. His girlfriend, Savannah Danielle McDonald, is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday.

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Athens-area resident Noland Harold Kidd, seen here speaking to an independent journalist outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was sentenced Monday, May 9, 2022, to 45 days imprisonment in a plea agreement for his role in the U.S. Capitol riot. His girlfriend, Savannah Danielle McDonald, is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday.

A federal judge in Washington on Monday sentenced Athens resident Noland Harold Kidd to 45 days in prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot, calling him “part of the first wave” of protesters to stream through a breached fire door on the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol.

Kidd was arrested last June with his girlfriend, Savannah Danielle McDonald, after the FBI linked them to security camera footage and video interviews the two gave to journalists outside the Capitol. However, Kidd might have never come to Washington if his boss at Coca-Cola hadn’t offered him time off to attend the Stop the Steal rally that preceded the riot, according to his testimony Monday.

Kidd told the judge that worked for the soft drink giant in Elberton, where Coke has a bottling plant. He has since been fired, according to his attorney.

Coca-Cola did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kidd, who was 21 at the time of his arrest, said he heard the call of former President Donald Trump and his supporters to attend the Washington protest, or if unable to make it to Washington, to protest at state capitols. Kidd said he told his boss he was going to Atlanta to protest.

“He told me that same day, he said, if you want, do you want to go to the (U.S.) Capitol?” he said.

Kidd pleaded guilty in February to a misdemeanor charge of illegally demonstrating in the Capitol, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a fine of $5,000. McDonald, who will be sentenced Tuesday, pleaded guilty to the same charge in January.

“Do you know how many people died on Jan. 6,” U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper asked Kidd, who was sitting in his truck in Georgia attending the sentencing on his smart phone.

Kidd guessed three, saying he had tuned out of the news not long after the riot. Earlier in the hearing, Kidd namechecked Ashli Babbitt, the woman shot by Capitol police during the riot and who has since become a martyr for some on the right who defend the rioters.

“Five,” Cooper corrected him. “Do you know how many people have died since then? Another four capitol police officers have taken their own lives because of the trauma they experienced.”

“I think I’ve heard that,” Kidd said.

Kidd expressed regret for participating in the riot, although he and his attorney both stressed that he did not damage property or physically confront police. Kidd said he cooperated with the FBI, turning over the phone number of another riot participant who he met inside the Capitol. Kidd had asked for probation instead of jail time, but Cooper said that would not be “appropriate.”