December 4, 2023

Nationwide Information

Shane Jenkins, 46, of Texas, additionally repeatedly threw makeshift weapons at law enforcement officials through the riot.

On this picture from the body-worn digital camera of a Washington Metropolitan Police Division officer, launched by the Justice Division within the Assertion of Information supporting an arrest warrant, Shane Jenkins confronts officers as they implement a curfew exterior the Embassy Suites Lodge, on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. Jenkins, a Texas man who attacked the U.S. Capitol with a steel tomahawk and is now the face of a web site promoting merchandise portraying jailed rioters as “political prisoners”, was sentenced on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023, to seven years behind bars. (Justice Division by way of AP) AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Texas man who attacked the U.S. Capitol with a steel tomahawk — and is now the face of a web site promoting merchandise portraying jailed rioters as “political prisoners” — was sentenced Friday to seven years behind bars.

Shane Jenkins, 46, tried to smash a Capitol window along with his tomahawk through the Jan. 6, 2021, siege. He additionally repeatedly threw makeshift weapons at law enforcement officials, hurling a desk drawer, a flagpole, a steel strolling stick and a picket pole with a spear-like level.

A web site touts Jenkins because the founding father of a gaggle that seeks to “make clear the January sixth defendants and the therapy they’ve confronted from the federal government.” The web site sells T-shirts, hoodies, hats, tote baggage and different merchandise with Jan. 6-themed slogans, together with “Free the J6 political prisoners” and “Need my vote? Assist the J6ers.” One other shirt on the market options former President Donald Trump’s mugshot over the phrases “Indicted we stand.”

The web site additionally commemorates Jenkins’ personal position within the riot. It shows a cartoon avatar of Jenkins, nicknamed Skullet, and a brand depicting crossed tomahawks beneath a silhouette of the Capitol constructing.

Prosecutors don’t understand how a lot cash Jenkins has generated from the web site’s merchandise gross sales. However they mentioned he has used one other fundraising website to gather greater than $118,000 in donations.

“Removed from considering the hurt he has induced, inspecting his conscience, feeling disgrace for his actions, and resolving to vary, Jenkins has chosen to make use of his January 6 standing to construct a model as a way to garner cash and a spotlight,” prosecutors wrote in a courtroom submitting.

Protection lawyer Dennis Boyle mentioned Jenkins hasn’t acquired cash from the sale of Jan. 6 merchandise and doesn’t personal the location that sells it, though he couldn’t say who does.

U.S. District Decide Amit Mehta, who sentenced Jenkins, mentioned it was “shameful” for him to capitalize on his position within the riot. The decide additionally rejected the notion that Jenkins and different jailed rioters are political prisoners who can’t get a good trial.

“Nothing could possibly be farther from the reality,” Mehta mentioned. “It’s all on video.”

Jenkins expressed regret for his actions on Jan. 6, saying he bought “caught up within the warmth of the second.”

“I really like this nation,” he advised the decide. “And I’m not some crazed maniac got down to destroy this nation.”

Prosecutors had beneficial a jail sentence of 19 years and eight months. In addition they requested the decide to impose a wonderful of not less than $118,888, equaling the cash Jenkins has publicly raised.

Mehta denied their request for a wonderful. He additionally refused to impose a “terrorism” enhancement that may have considerably elevated his sentencing tips.

In March, a jury convicted Jenkins of expenses together with civil dysfunction and obstructing the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress for certifying the presidential election victory of Joe Biden, a Democrat, over Trump, a Republican.

Jenkins flew from Houston to Washington, D.C., a day earlier than Trump’s rally close to the White Home on Jan. 6. Jenkins believed baseless claims that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen from Trump and envisioned {that a} “medieval melee type battle” would erupt on the Capitol, prosecutors mentioned.

“His language invoked imagery of battle and violent retribution, and his purpose was to intimidate and retaliate in opposition to a authorities that may not set up his most popular candidate,” they wrote.

Boyle mentioned Jenkins’ actions on Jan. 6 had been motivated by a “misunderstanding concerning the election.”

“There stay many grifters on the market who stay free to proceed propagating the ‘nice lie’ that Trump gained the election, Donald Trump being among the many most distinguished,” Boyle wrote. “Mr. Jenkins isn’t certainly one of these people; he is aware of he was mistaken.”

The protection lawyer mentioned Jenkins endured a tumultuous, abusive upbringing to turned a “pillar in his group.” When he was 20, Jenkins shot and killed his stepfather in self-defense after the person pointed a shotgun at him and made demise threats, in accordance with Boyle, who mentioned Jenkins wasn’t charged within the 1997 killing.

Prosecutors acknowledged that Jenkins wasn’t prosecuted for his stepfather’s killing, however they mentioned his “in depth” legal file earlier than Jan. 6 included assault convictions and reveals he has a “penchant for violence.”

In July, Jenkins and 11 different inmates on the jail in Washington assaulted one other Capitol riot defendant, Taylor Taranto, in a TV room, in accordance with prosecutors. Taranto had been saying derogatory issues about Ashli Babbitt, the rioter who was fatally shot by a police officer contained in the Capitol, and Babbitt’s mom, prosecutors mentioned.

Prosecutors have argued that Jenkins performed a pivotal position within the Jan. 6 assault. He struck a windowpane six occasions with the spike finish of the tomahawk that he had carried in a backpack. He pulverized and sprayed the shatter-resistant glass.

“Are we getting into or not?” he shouted on the crowd.

After Jenkins stepped down from the window ledge, one other rioter stepped in to interrupt the window.

“It’s troublesome to overstate the importance of Jenkins’ actions at this location,” prosecutors wrote. “As the primary to assault this window, Jenkins crossed a line that had beforehand not been crossed on the (Decrease West Terrace) — he had attacked the Capitol itself.”

Rioters ultimately destroyed the window, permitting them to enter a convention room, the place they made improvised weapons from the damaged components of picket furnishings. Mob members used the furnishings items to assault law enforcement officials guarding an entrance in a tunnel on the Capitol’s Decrease West Terrace.

Greater than 1,100 folks have been charged with Jan. 6-related federal crimes. Roughly 800 of them have pleaded responsible or been convicted by juries or judges after trials in Washington. Over 650 have been sentenced, with roughly two-thirds of them receiving phrases of imprisonment starting from three days to 22 years, in accordance with an Related Press evaluation of courtroom data.