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Charges upgraded against Capitol riot suspect from Iowa

February 16, 2021 GMT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Prosecutors have upgraded charges against an Iowa man who led a crowd of insurgents in taunting a police officer up several flights of stairs inside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack.

Video and photographs of Douglas Jensen have been widely distributed, showing as the man wearing a QAnon shirt pursues Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman as an angry mob follows them.

An updated indictment was filed in federal court in Washington on Jan. 10 and posted in online court records Tuesday.

It now includes an elevated charge of entering a restricted building with a dangerous weapon and disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building with a dangerous weapon. Other counts include civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, assaulting or impeding officers, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building and parading, demonstrating or picketing a Capitol building.

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The weapons charges have been added to the indictment as prosecutors say Jensen carried a knife in his pocket during the attack.

The most serious charge carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence and at least two others have maximum penalties of up to 10 years each.

Jensen’s attorney, Christopher Davis, confirmed Tuesday that Jensen is still in custody and has a hearing on Feb. 23 in Washington. Court documents indicate a judge has scheduled an arraignment on the new charges and a detention hearing.

Jensen, 41, was arrested and jailed in Des Moines on Jan. 9. Two days after he returned home to Des Moines from Washington and saw himself in the television coverage, he walked to the Des Moines police station and turned himself in.

An FBI agent said Jensen in an interview at the police station said he believed that once inside the Capitol he and the others would witness the arrest of Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress.

Jensen described himself to the FBI agent as a true believer in QAnon, the apocalyptic conspiracy theory that he follows. He said that for about four years he has spent hours on the computer at night after work reading the material from QAnon and similar websites.

He admitted to the agents that he still believed the FBI and the CIA are corrupt and that the QAnon conspiracies are real. He did ask the agents, however, if he was being duped.

A second Iowa man arrested after publicly acknowledging taking part in the Capitol riot has a virtual hearing scheduled for March 8.

Leo Kelly, 35, of Cedar Rapids, is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building and violent entry with intent to disrupt business at the Capitol.

He has been free in Iowa awaiting a court appearance.