Christopher Cantwell gets 41 months
The gun-worshiping New Hampshire neo-Nazi podcaster was sentenced for trying to extort a rival.
Christopher Cantwell, the New Hampshire neo-Nazi podcaster found guilty of extortion and threats directed at another neo-Nazi, was sentenced today by a federal judge to serve 41 months in federal prison.
The “Crying Nazi” cried during the hearing before U.S. District Judge Paul Barbadoro issued the sentence at an in-person hearing this morning in Concord, New Hampshire.
“The nature of your behavior is so serious, so egregiously wrong, that a significant sentence is required,” Barbadoro said.
Cantwell delivered a rambling and emotional statement which he began by offering a Mike Tyson quote: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” (The point he was trying to make was unclear.)
Cantwell discussed the fact that the charges stemmed from a feud he had with rival neo-Nazis — a group he had attempted to report to law enforcement.
Cantwell compared the rival Nazis to “black bloc,” mentioned “Satanists,” and complained about having been subjected to a “constant stream of non-stop harassment” from the group. He was overcome with emotion after describing law enforcement “ignoring” his “pleas for help.” He cried again while describing how he could not identify which members of the rival group were targeting him.
The sentence fell short the 51 months prosecutors requested. Sentencing guidelines, which factor in a defendant’s criminal history as well as other mitigating and aggravating factors, called for Cantwell to be sentenced to a term of 41 to 51 months.
His federally appointed defense attorneys had asked the court to sentence Cantwell only to time served, arguing that the 13 months he spent in jail since his arrest was punishment enough.
Cantwell’s sentence also includes two years supervised release following his release. The court waived fines due to the fact that Cantwell would be unable to pay them.
Cantwell, 40, was arrested at his Keene, New Hampshire apartment in January 2020. He went on trial in September on charges tied to a feud with a rival neo-Nazi. He testified in his own defense. A federal jury found Cantwell guilty of one count of threatening to injure property or reputation and one count of transmitting extortionate communications. They found him not guilty of a third charge.
Cantwell has 14 days to file an appeal.
Note: This breaking news article was originally published at 1:08 p.m. ET. It was updated with more details at 2:46 p.m.
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Hilary Sargent is a freelance journalist. She has written for The New York Times, QUARTZ, The Boston Globe, and The Wall Street Journal. Follow her on Twitter at @lilsarg.