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Iowan Shown In Capitol Riot Back In Jail After Going Back Online

Protesters gesture to U.S. Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, near the Ohio Clock. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Manuel Balce Ceneta
Doug Jensen of Des Moines is accused of being one of the first to break into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and one of the last to leave the Rotunda.

A Des Moines man arrested after the January attack on the U.S. Capitol is going back to jail after breaking a judge’s order to stay off the internet.

Doug Jensen of Des Moines, who is accused of being among the first to break into the U.S. Capitol in January, is back in jail Thursday after violating a court order to not go online during his pretrial release.

Jensen was granted home confinement in July after spending six months in custody. He claimed at that time that he was a victim of QAnon conspiracies and had “bought into a pack of lies,” but no longer believed them.

As part of the release agreement, Judge Timothy Kelly required that Jensen wear a GPS ankle bracelet and demanded that he not use the internet or any internet-connected devices.

A few weeks later, a pretrial services officer making an unannounced visit reported that he found Jensen in his garage using a smart phone that belonged to his wife, who had been named the “custodian” of his release. Jensen also admitted that he had spent time watching an online symposium hosted by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell that promoted false election conspiracies.

Defense attorney Christopher Davis, said Jensen knew he violated his release order. He likened it to a drug relapse.

“If anything, Mr. Jensen and Mrs. Jensen were extremely concerned that he was in compliance with every condition. Why would he do this? I don’t have a good answer for this, and I don’t think he does either,” Davis said, adding that he agreed the court should act on the violation. “But I do not believe that this man needs to be housed with, quite frankly, individuals who are dangerous and who are radical.”

Judge Kelly sided with Assistant U.S. Attorney Hava Mirell who argued Jensen’s actions show he has not actually changed his mind on QAnon and election conspiracies . She referenced video footage that shows Jensen in front of a mob following Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman up a set of stairs near the Senate chamber.

“Just two weeks after being released from prison, two weeks after swearing to this court that he would obey its orders, he was back to the exact same habits that led him to assault officer Goodman on Jan. 6,” Mirell said.

Kelly ruled that Jensen must go back to jail as his case proceeds because, he said, there are no additional requirements the court can make that Jensen is likely to follow.

“It’s relevant that this was the very first time that he was checked up on that he was in violation of (the orders),” Kelly said. “And again I think it’s significant that it was relatively quickly, within weeks after his release, that he was caught in violation.”

Davis asked that Jensen be held near home, but it was unclear from the hearing whether he will be detained in Iowa or elsewhere.

Jensen faces seven charges for his alleged role in the Capitol attack, including obstruction of law enforcement and assaulting or resisting an officer.

Before Jensen violated his release, his attorney and prosecutors had been negotiating a potential plea agreement. They told the judge Thursday that those discussions are still happening and that they expect to know by the next scheduled hearing on Sept. 24 whether a deal has been reached or the case will go to trial.

Grant Gerlock is a reporter covering Des Moines and central Iowa