WASHINGTON, DC – Iowa construction worker Doug Jensen, who was one of the first rioters to enter the Capitol on January 6, 2021, was found guilty of all seven criminal counts related to the assault in a trial that ended Friday.
After deliberating for nearly four hours, a 10-man, 2-woman jury unanimously found Jensen guilty of crimes ranging from civil disorder to obstruction. Sentencing on five felony counts and two misdemeanors is set for December 16.
The case of a Des Moines resident was one of the most high-profile for individuals who stormed the Capitol last year in hopes of preventing authentication of Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
Sometimes during testing, Jensen kept a close eye on the exhibits that were presented. In others, he looked down on his lap, wearing dark jeans and a salmon-colored checkered shirt—the outfit that’s the exact opposite of the QAnon T-shirt he wore when he was in the Capitol building.
As the guilty verdict was announced, Jensen’s wife April cried silently as she sat in the second row of the courtroom behind him. Jensen blew a kiss to his wife when he came to make the decision and blew a kiss back as he was leaving. In custody before the trial, Jensen remained in custody after the verdict.
“We had a very honest jury and respected their decision,” Jensen’s attorney, Christopher Davis, later told reporters. “It’s a sad case. Doug Jensen is a nice guy who struggled back when it all happened. He has a loving wife and family. I hope they can come back from all this.”
The most serious charge against Jensen was that of obstructing an official proceeding, which carries a maximum sentence of five years for civil disorder, or a maximum of 20 years in comparison to entering restricted grounds or obstructing a police officer. But defendants typically do not receive the maximum sentence under federal guidelines.
Capitol riot arrests: See who’s been charged across America
Prosecutors said in their closing argument, “Doug Jensen will not be stopped on January 6th until he has got what he came for: to prevent a peaceful transfer of power.”
William Miller, a spokesman for the DC Attorney General’s office, said prosecutors would not comment on the matter beyond what was said or presented in court, but told USA TODAY that a news release is forthcoming.
Any post-trial motions made by the defendants must be filed by October 14. The prosecution’s response is due October 28.
Jensen’s prior record consisted mostly of minor offenses: a dismissed shoplifting charge in 1997 when he was 18, driving with a suspended license as a habitual traffic offender in 2001, and trespassing in 2006.
The most serious charge came in 2015 in Rochester, Minnesota, where Jensen was arrested and charged with two counts each of assault, domestic assault and disorderly conduct. He pleaded guilty to one count of domestic assault and one count of disorderly conduct.
Jensen test opening remarks:‘Not a hoodnit case’: Capital rioter Doug Jensen’s trial begins
Capitol police testified in the Jensen trial:‘Absolute chaos’: Hero officer Goodman recalls harrowing moments of Capitol riot in attacker trial
Longer sentences have been awarded to defendants who attacked police officers since January 6. The longest was attributed to Thomas Webster, a retired New York police officer and maritime veteran, who attacked and strangled an officer.
Prosecutors have recommended seven years, two months for Evan Kyle Young, who pleaded guilty to assault, resisting or obstructing a police officer. He is to be sentenced on September 27.
Federal prosecutors have charged more than 850 people in 48 states with participating in the January 6 riots at the US Capitol, and arrests are ongoing. Jensen’s case was only the ninth to go to trial.
January 6 Hearing:Pressure campaigns, predictable violence: what we all learned from the 8 Jan 6 hearing
Capitol Riot in pictures:Seven shocking photos of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol
It was never a question of whether Jensen was at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
In his closing remarks, Davis said, “This is not a ‘wodnit’ case, a remark he also made in his opening remarks.
“We know who,” Davis added, describing Jensen as the “Where’s Waldo” of the Capitol attack.
The prosecution’s case relied heavily on extensive video and photographs of Jensen parade through the Capitol, along with testimony from several members of law enforcement who clashed with him in the building.
“Jensen was a rioter who would not back down,” argued prosecutors. “If it wasn’t all recorded from at least 10 different angles, it would be very hard to believe.”
was at the heart of the prosecution’s argument Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman—who was shown in a viral video of a reporter being chased by Jensen up the Capitol staircase—and other officers who testified at the trail, called Jensen “aggressive,” arrogant, “and at one point” to the crowd. The leader portrayed as “…
Prosecutors said Jensen’s pursuit of Goodman was “not a game to follow the leader, he was Officer Goodman in a survival position.”
The defense argued that despite Jensen’s confrontational behavior, he did not use weapons like many other demonstrators and did not work closely with other rioters in the building, urging the jury to judge Jensen on his actions alone. .
In his closing remarks, Davis said, “January 6 isn’t sitting at that table; Doug Jensen is.”
Goodman, who was hailed as a hero for driving protesters away from the Senate chamber where lawmakers were being evacuated, testified that “Qunon shaman” Jake Angeli held a flag that was as sharp as a spear. and other protesters had bats and flags. They used to hurt the officers. Jensen didn’t, he admitted.
The defense differentiated between Capitol rioters “dressed in costume” and “battle-ready”, claiming that Jensen was formerly.
Jensen’s outfit that day—a beanie and black shirt with a giant “Q” on it, in tribute to the scheming movement QAnon—is easily recognizable in images from the riots.
He told FBI agents in an interview at Des Moines Police Headquarters a few days after the riots that he wore the shirt, so Q, the unnamed alleged government official who is the alleged voice of the conspiracy theory, would get credit for the events of January. 6, 2021.
In closing arguments, defense asked jury members to remember how they felt during the pandemic, when cities were ghost towns and isolation was the norm.
Jensen’s lawyer, Davis, claimed the pandemic “acted strange to everyone” — perhaps, Jensen more than others, he argued. He repeatedly described Jensen as “a confused person”.
“He believed in (QAnon),” Davis said. “He sincerely believed it … there is no other explanation for what he did that day.”
Contribution: Bart Janssen