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Man gets 4 years for Portland protest hammer attack

Jacob Michael Gaines, 24, was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison for striking a Deputy U.S. Marshal with this hammer during a July 11, 2020 demonstration in Portland. [U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Oregon photo]

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — U.S. District Judge Karin J. Immergut held the 4-pound hammer that Jacob Gaines swung at the head of a federal marshal outside Portland’s downtown federal courthouse before sentencing him to nearly four years in prison on Monday.

Immergut chose a sentence Monday that exceeded the plea-deal recommended three years and one month sentence, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

Defense lawyer Rosalind M. Lee had sought a sentence of time served, covering the 18 months Gaines has spent in custody, followed by residential drug and alcohol treatment.

Gaines, of Texas, was arrested July 11, 2020, after he banged a hole in the plywood covering a courthouse entrance. When a deputy marshal went to arrest Gaines, federal prosecutor Christopher Cardani said Gaines struck the officer with it.

Gaines hit the marshal in the shoulder and upper back before other members of the U.S. Marshals Service arrested him, according to court records. The marshal wasn't seriously injured as he was wearing a helmet and body armor.

Gaines pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting a federal officer with a deadly and dangerous weapon, a felony.

“I’d like to apologize to the victim, his family and his colleagues for the stress, harm and anxiety that I caused,” Gaines said.

Gaines is among a handful of defendants who have pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from arrests related to nightly protests against police brutality in Portland last year that started after the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis.