Hoffman Estates man due to be sentenced for January 6 charges

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Tom Jones WLS logo
Tuesday, February 6, 2024
North suburban man due to be sentenced for Jan. 6 charges
What happened on January 6 2021? Hoffman Estates, IL man Tyng Jing Yang will be sentenced after he pleaded guilty to a felony civil disorder charge.

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (WLS) -- Our coverage of this story has moved here.

Federal authorities want to send a 61-year-old Hoffman Estates man to prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, violence at the capitol, arguing he was at the "front of the mob."

Tyng Jing Yang is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday morning after he pleaded guilty to a felony civil disorder charge.

Federal prosecutors are asking the judge in the case to imprison Yang for 11 months, according to a new sentencing memorandum filed in the case and obtained by the ABC 7 I-Team.

In the middle of the Jan. 6 mayhem, federal law enforcement officials say Yang obstructed Capitol police and stood his ground against an advancing line of riot officers.

"When police officers formed a line to expel the rioters from the Rotunda, Yang refused to move back or to leave, and instead, obstructed the officers," the sentencing memorandum reads.

The ABC7 I-Team previously reported that Yang was charged on Nov. 15, 2022, with five counts, including a felony civil disorder charge.

This past September, Yang pleaded guilty to the felony civil disorder charge, according to court filings.

At his sentencing hearing, his defense team is expected to contend that Yang "touched an officer's arm and another officer's baton... in a moment of what he felt was self-defense during the commotion," according to Yang's defense sentencing memorandum filed in the case.

But in the government's sentencing recommendations, prosecutors used images from surveillance footage and photos taken on Jan. 6, 2021, to show Yang grabbed a police officer's wrist, and baton, as rioters were being pushed out of the Capitol Rotunda.

Former federal prosecutor and ABC 7 chief legal analyst Gil Soffer said the photos are a key part of the government's case.

"Those photographs tell us why it is the government pursued felony charges against Mr. Yang, because he physically interfered with the police doing their duties," Soffer said. "He blocked them. He touched them, he grabbed their baton. That's why we're seeing felony charges here."

Soffer tells the I-Team Yang's claim of self-defense in the skirmish with police, and his contention that he should only be sentenced to probation, may be difficult arguments to make.

SEE ALSO | Capitol attack: Lockport residents charged with entering Capitol Hill on Jan. 6

"It's a creative argument," said Soffer. "It seems unlikely to prevail."

Paulette Pagán, Yang's attorney for the sentencing hearing, told the I-Team on Monday that her client has taken full responsibility and regrets his actions on Jan. 6, 2021.

"[Mr. Yang] wishes to apologize to law enforcement, the community, and his loved ones," his attorney wrote by email. "He is a loving father and committed husband with no prior criminal history. He sincerely regrets his actions and is eager to move past this chapter of his life."

Soffer said the sentencing recommendations made by federal authorities in the Yang case demonstrate how serious the government's taking these cases.

"This is a very telling sentencing memorandum by the court," Soffer said. "You've got someone with no criminal background, someone who was in the capital area for some 30 minutes... and yet, the government is seeking a term of incarceration, and a fairly lengthy one, for a first time offender."

"The government continues to send a very loud message with these cases and in this case," Soffer told the I-Team.