In this image from the body-worn camera of a Washington Metropolitan Police Department officer, released by the Justice Department in the Statement of Facts supporting an arrest warrant, Shane Jenkins confronts officers as they enforce a curfew outside the Embassy Suites Hotel, on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. Jenkins, a Texas man who attacked the U.S. Capitol with a metal tomahawk and is now the face of a website selling merchandise portraying jailed rioters as “political prisoners,” was sentenced on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023, to seven years behind bars. (Justice Department via AP)
A Texas man who attacked the U.S. Capitol with a metal tomahawk and who prosecutors say profited from his criminal conduct was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Shane Jenkins, 45, was sentenced to 84 months in prison, 36 months of supervised release, and ordered to pay $5,176 in restitution, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release. Jenkins was convicted of seven felonies and two misdemeanors, including assaulting law enforcement with a deadly or dangerous weapon, following a jury trial in the District of Columbia in March 2023, prosecutors said.
He traveled from Houston to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 5, 2021, posting his intent on social media to participate the next day as rioters disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress from certifying Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election.
In one post, he wrote, “I honestly wish we could drag ole Chuck Nancy and killary out and give em what for” and “I sent him the pic, and I have some sog tomahawks and tactical blades can I take those?” officials said.
Authorities said he retrieved a “Sog” brand “tactical” tomahawk ax from his backpack, put on protective gloves, and struck a Capitol building windowpane six times with the spike end, “causing the pulverized glass to spray with every strike.”
In this image from U.S. Capitol Police security video, released and annotated by the Justice Department in the Statement of Facts supporting an arrest warrant, Shane Jenkins, circled in red, is seen holding an object near the Lower West Terrace tunnel at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. Jenkins, a Texas man who attacked the U.S. Capitol with a metal tomahawk and is now the face of a website selling merchandise portraying jailed rioters as “political prisoners”, was sentenced on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023, to seven years behind bars. (Justice Department via AP)
“While he was striking the window, another rioter interrupted him by pulling at his pant leg,” officials said. “Jenkins shouted angrily to the crowd, ‘Are we going in or not?’”
Riling up the crowd, he told other rioters, “Bro, we’re going in that f— building one way or another” and “We paid for it; it’s our f— building,” prosecutors said.
The window was destroyed. Rioters got in and took apart wooden furniture to be used as weapons.
“Jenkins and other rioters used these items to attack the officers attempting to block the entrance to the Lower West Terrace Tunnel,” the news release said.
In the tunnel, he hurled a wooden desk drawer, a flagpole, a metal walking stick, and a broken wooden pole with a spear-like point at officers, officials said.
After the riot, prosecutors said Jenkins bragged about what he had done at the Capitol and called police “trash.”
“I have murder in my heart and head,” officials said he wrote in one message. “I love you, I’m not over this election, as our president so eloquently stated yesterday bull—, I am sorry man, I wanna scream and cry at all the same time.”
He was arrested in Houston on March 5, 2021, and later convicted. Among his convictions — corruptly obstructing an official proceeding of Congress, interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder, and assaulting and resisting or impeding law enforcement officers with a deadly or dangerous weapon.
Prosecutors said in court documents he created several Jan. 6-inspired websites inviting “like-minded individuals” to follow him on social media, where he “takes advantage of their sentiments” and requests monetary contributions. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, who sentenced Jenkins, said these actions were “shameful.” Authorities said that he earned at least $118,888 from his criminal conduct despite being incarcerated.
Defense attorney Dennis Boyle said Jenkins received no money from selling Jan. 6 merchandise, and his client’s actions were motivated by a “misunderstanding about the election,” The Associated Press reported.
The lawyer said Jenkins had an abusive upbringing, writing about a time in 1997 when Jenkins shot and killed his abusive stepfather in self-defense after the man pulled a shotgun on him and threatened to kill him when Jenkins was 20. Jenkins wasn’t charged in the 1997 killing, the AP reported.
Jenkins has since expressed remorse for his actions on Jan. 6, saying he got “caught up in the heat of the moment,” the AP reported.
“I love this country,” he told the judge, the wire service reported. “And I’m not some crazed maniac set out to destroy this nation.”
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