Man who attacked Capitol with tomahawk and now promotes Jan. 6 merchandise gets 7 years in prison

In this image from the body-worn camera of a Washington Metropolitan Police Department officer,...
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 Details supporting an arrest warrant, Shane Jenkins confronts officers as they implement a curfew outdoors the Embassy Suites Lodge, on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. Jenkins, a Texas man who attacked the U.S. Capitol with a metallic 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 metallic 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 metallic strolling stick and a picket pole with a spear-like level.

An internet 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 luggage 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 know the way 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 precipitated, inspecting his conscience, feeling disgrace for his actions, and resolving to alter, Jenkins has chosen to make use of his January 6 standing to construct a model with a purpose to garner cash and a spotlight,” prosecutors wrote in a court docket submitting.

Protection legal professional Dennis Boyle stated Jenkins hasn’t obtained cash from the sale of Jan. 6 merchandise and doesn’t personal the positioning that sells it, though he couldn’t say who does.

U.S. District Choose 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 received “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 really useful a jail sentence of 19 years and eight months. Additionally they requested the decide to impose a high quality of no less than $118,888, equaling the cash Jenkins has publicly raised.

Mehta denied their request for a high quality. He additionally refused to impose a “terrorism” enhancement that might have considerably elevated his sentencing pointers.

In March, a jury convicted Jenkins of prices 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 conflict and violent retribution, and his purpose was to intimidate and retaliate in opposition to a authorities that might not set up his most popular candidate,” they wrote.

Boyle stated Jenkins’ actions on Jan. 6 have 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 shouldn’t be one in all these people; he is aware of he was flawed.”

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 dying threats, in response to 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 document 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, in response to 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 instances 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 finally destroyed the window, permitting them to enter a convention room, the place they made improvised weapons from the damaged elements 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 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, in response to an Related Press evaluation of court docket information.

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