US Capitol riot suspect Doug Jensen ordered back to jail for pretrial release violation

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DES MOINES, Iowa – A federal judge has revoked the pretrial release of a Des Moines man charged in the January 6th US Capitol riot after he violated the terms by watching online conspiracy videos about the presidential election recount.

Doug Jensen appeared Thursday morning at the Federal Courthouse in Des Moines while the judge in the case presided over the hearing remotely from Washington D.C.

Judge Timothy Kelly ordered Jensen back into custody at the conclusion of the hearing. NBC4 News’ Scott MacFarlane reports the judge made the decision after finding clear and convincing evidence that Jensen violated the terms laid out in the pretrial release agreement, which included having no access to the internet. Jensen was found watching a Mike Lindell video by a pretrial services officer, just 30 days after he was granted pretrial release.

Jensen was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals following Thursday’s hearing. His place of detention has not been set yet as his defense attorney is requesting he be held in a local Iowa Jail. He previously spent six months detained in Washington D.C. following his original arrest.

MacFarlane also reports discussions about a plea agreement are taking place.

Jensen faces charges including Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds with a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon, Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds with a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon, and Assaulting, Resisting, or Impeding Certain Officers.

A motion to revoke Jensen’s pretrial release was filed on August 19th after a pretrial services officer found Jensen in his garage using an iPhone to stream news from Rumble, a video service popular with conservatives. Access to the internet and internet-enabled devices is prohibited by the terms of his release.

Video and images of Jensen participating in the riot, in his “Q” shirt, were spread widely via social media. Jensen has admitted to authorities that he took part in the raid of the US Capitol due to his belief in the ‘QAnon’ conspiracy theory.

In his plea to the court for pre-trial release he told the court he realized he had “bought into a pack of lies” and believed he had been deceived by QAnon, claiming he had experienced a “wake-up call.” Jensen was released on pre-trial release on July 14th after six months of being held in federal custody.

He was released to the custody of his wife, April Jensen, who swore to supervise her husband and notify the court if he violated any of the conditions of the agreement.

In federal court documents prosecutors claim Jensen’s “alleged disavowal of QAnon was just an act; that his alleged epiphany inside the D.C. Jail was merely self-advocacy; and that, at the end of the day, Jensen will not abandon the misguided theories and beliefs that led him to menacingly chase U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman up the Senate staircase on January 6, 2021.”

The documents also say, “Jensen’s violation is doubly concerning because it exposes Ms. Jensen as an unsuitable and untrustworthy custodian. Indeed, by the defendant’s own account, Ms. Jensen left the iPhone on for the defendant when she went to work on August 13, thereby facilitating his violation. Thus, even if the Court were inclined to keep defendant on pretrial release, there are not suitable third-party custodians to supervise Jensen.”

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