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Man who attacked Capitol with tomahawk on Jan. 6 will get 7 years in jail

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

On this picture from the body-worn digicam 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 outdoors the Embassy Suites Resort, 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 through 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 together with his tomahawk in the course of 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 wood pole with a spear-like level.

A web site touts Jenkins because the founding father of a bunch that seeks to “make clear the January sixth defendants and the remedy 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 stated he has used one other fundraising website to gather greater than $118,000 in donations.

“Removed from considering the hurt he has brought on, 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 with a view to garner cash and a spotlight,” prosecutors wrote in a courtroom submitting.

Protection lawyer Dennis Boyle stated 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, stated 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 may very well be farther from the reality,” Mehta stated. “It’s all on video.”

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

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

Prosecutors had really useful a jail sentence of 19 years and eight months. In addition they requested the decide to impose a superb of at the least $118,888, equaling the cash Jenkins has publicly raised.

Mehta denied their request for a superb. He additionally refused to impose a “terrorism” enhancement that will 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 model battle” would erupt on the Capitol, prosecutors stated.

“His language invoked imagery of battle and violent retribution, and his aim was to intimidate and retaliate towards a authorities that will not set up his most well-liked candidate,” they wrote.

Boyle stated Jenkins’ actions on Jan. 6 have been motivated by a “misunderstanding in regards to the election.”

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

The protection lawyer stated Jenkins endured a tumultuous, abusive upbringing to grew to become a “pillar in his neighborhood.” When he was 20, Jenkins shot and killed his stepfather in self-defense after the person pointed a shotgun at him and made loss of life threats, based on Boyle, who stated Jenkins wasn’t charged within the 1997 killing.

Prosecutors acknowledged that Jenkins wasn’t prosecuted for his stepfather’s killing, however they stated his “in depth” felony report earlier than Jan. 6 included assault convictions and exhibits 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, based on 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 stated.

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 entering 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 tough 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 wood 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 individuals 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, based on an Related Press evaluation of courtroom data.