Iowa rioter guilty in Jan. 6 assault on Capitol
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WASHINGTON, DC — Doug Jensen, the Iowa building employee who was one of many first rioters to enter the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was discovered responsible on all seven prison counts associated to the assault in a trial that ended Friday.
After deliberating for about 4 hours, the 10-man, 2-woman jury unanimously discovered Jensen responsible of crimes starting from civil dysfunction to obstruction. Sentencing on the 5 felonies and two misdemeanors is scheduled for Dec. 16.
The Des Moines resident’s case was among the many most excessive profile for people who stormed the Capitol final yr in hopes of halting the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
At instances in the course of the trial, Jensen saved an in depth eye on displays that had been introduced. In others, he regarded down at his lap, sporting darkish denims and a salmon coloured checkered shirt – apparel that’s in stark distinction to the QAnon T-shirt he wore when he was within the Capitol constructing.
Because the responsible verdicts had been introduced, Jensen’s spouse April quietly cried as she sat within the second row of the courtroom behind him. Jensen blew a kiss to his spouse when he got here in to obtain the decision and he or she blew a kiss again when he was on his approach out. In custody earlier than the trial, Jensen remained in custody after the verdicts.
“We had a really conscientious jury and respect their verdict,” Jensen’s lawyer, Christopher Davis instructed reporters afterwards. “This can be a unhappy case. Doug Jensen is an effective man who was struggling again when all of this occurred. He has a loving spouse and household. I hope they’ll come again from all of this.”
Essentially the most severe cost towards Jensen was obstructing an official continuing, which carries a most 20-year sentence, in comparison with most phrases of 5 years for civil dysfunction or one yr for getting into restricted grounds or impeding a police officer. However defendants usually don’t obtain most sentences beneath federal pointers.
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“Doug Jensen wouldn’t be stopped on Jan. 6 till he obtained what he got here for: to cease the peaceable switch of energy,” prosecutors stated of their closing argument.
William Miller, a spokesperson for the DC lawyer common’s workplace, stated the prosecution wouldn’t touch upon the case past what was said or submitted in courtroom, however instructed USA TODAY a information launch is forthcoming.
Any post-trial motions made by the protection should be filed by Oct. 14. The prosecution’s response is due Oct. 28.
Jensen’s prior file largely concerned minor offenses: a dismissed shoplifting cost in 1997, when he was 18, driving with a suspended license as a recurring site visitors offender in 2001, and trespassing in 2006.
Essentially the most severe cost got here in 2015 in Rochester, Minnesota, the place Jensen was arrested and charged with two counts every of assault, home assault and disorderly conduct. He pleaded responsible to at least one rely of home assault and one rely of disorderly conduct.
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Longer sentences so removed from Jan. 6 crimes have tended to go to defendants who attacked cops. The longest was 10 years given to a retired New York police officer and Marine veteran, Thomas Webster, who attacked and choked an officer.
Prosecutors have really useful seven years, two months for Iowan Kyle Younger, who pleaded responsible to assaulting, resisting or impeding a police officer. He’s set to be sentenced Sept. 27.
Federal prosecutors have charged greater than 850 folks in 48 states with taking part within the Jan. 6 riot on the US Capitol, and arrests proceed. Jensen’s case was solely the ninth to go to trial.
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It was by no means a query whether or not Jensen was on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
“This isn’t a ‘whodunnit’ case,” Davis stated in his closing remarks, a remark he additionally made in his opening remarks.
“We all know whodunnit,” Davis added, describing Jensen because the “The place’s Waldo” of the Capitol assault.
The prosecution’s case leaned closely on intensive video and images of Jensen parading by means of the Capitol, together with testimony from a number of members of regulation enforcement who clashed with him within the constructing.
“Jensen was the rioter who would not again down,” prosecutors argued. “If it wasn’t all recorded from at the least 10 completely different angles, it might be fairly exhausting to consider.”
Central to the prosecution’s argument was Capitol police Officer Eugene Goodman — who a reporter’s viral video confirmed being pursued by Jensen up a Capitol stairway — and different officers who testified within the path portrayed Jensen as “aggressive, “conceited,” and at one level, the “chief of the mob .”
Jensen’s pursuit of Goodman “was not a recreation of observe the chief; that was Officer Goodman in survival mode,” prosecutors stated.
The protection argued that regardless of Jensen’s confrontational demeanor, he didn’t wield weapons like most of the different protesters and didn’t act in live performance with the opposite rioters within the constructing, urging the jury to guage Jensen on his actions alone.
“Jan. 6 will not be sitting at that desk; Doug Jensen is,” Davis stated in his closing remarks.
Goodman, who was hailed as a hero for steering protesters away from the Senate chamber, the place lawmakers had been being evacuated, testified that “QAnon Shaman” Jake Angeli held a flag that seemed to be sharpened like a spear and that different protesters had bats and flags that they used to prod officers. Jensen didn’t, he conceded.
The protection additionally made a distinction between the Capitol rioters “wearing costume” and people “dressed for battle,” claiming Jensen was among the many former.
Jensen’s outfit that day — a beanie and the black shirt with an enormous “Q” on it, in homage to the conspiracist motion QAnon — makes him simply identifiable in pictures from the riot.
He instructed FBI brokers in an interview at Des Moines police headquarters a number of days after the riot that he wore the shirt so Q, the nameless purported authorities official who’s the purported voice of the conspiracy idea, would get credit score for the occasions of Jan. 6, 2021.
In closing arguments, the protection requested members of the jury to recollect how they felt in the course of the pandemic, when cities had been ghost cities and isolation was the norm.
Davis, Jensen’s lawyer, claimed that the pandemic “did bizarre issues to everybody” — maybe, Jensen greater than others, he argued. He repeatedly described Jensen as “a confused man.”
“He believed (QAnon),” Davis stated. “He truthfully believed it…There is not any different rationalization for what he did that day.”
Contributing: Bart Jansen
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