Prosecutors seeking nearly 6-year prison sentence for downstate Jan. 6 rioter

Shane Woods is among at least three dozen Illinoisans who have faced charges stemming from the U.S. Capitol riot.

SHARE Prosecutors seeking nearly 6-year prison sentence for downstate Jan. 6 rioter
Shane Woods.

Shane Woods.

U.S. District Court records

Federal prosecutors are seeking a nearly six-year prison sentence for a downstate man who has pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer and a news cameraman during the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Shane Woods remains jailed in Sangamon County on murder charges in a separate case, in which he allegedly caused a fatal crash during a botched attempt to take his own life rather than face prison time for his participation in the Washington D.C. riot.

In a sentencing memorandum filed Friday, prosecutors recommended a judge hand down a 71-month sentence for the “vicious, unprovoked assaults” committed by Woods.

The 45-year-old resident of Auburn, just southwest of Springfield, is among at least three dozen Illinoisans who have faced charges stemming from the Capitol riot. He was the first arrested for assaulting a member of the media.

As part of the mob that tried to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral victory over former President Donald Trump, Woods “lowered his shoulder and rammed into” a Capitol police officer who was pursuing a rioter, prosecutors have said.

Woods then sprayed the officer with a “chemical irritant,” knocking her off her feet and into a downed bicycle barricade, prosecutors said.

Hours later, Woods gathered with other rioters near a media staging area on the northeast side of the Capitol and Woods took a running start to knock a cameraman over, shattering his equipment.

Woods was arrested in June 2021. He pleaded guilty in September 2022 to assaulting, resisting or impeding law enforcement officers, along with a related federal assault charge.

Woods’ sentencing in the Capitol case was postponed after he allegedly caused a wrong-way crash on Interstate 55 in Sangamon County that killed Lauren Wegner, a 35-year-old Skokie woman, last November. He faces first-degree murder and aggravated DUI charges as a result of the crash, which a police report indicated was a suicide attempt.

In their memo, federal prosecutors said a sentence of almost six years “adequately reflects the gravity of Woods’ planning for violence, his violent conduct on January 6, and his continued advocacy of violence after January 6.”

Woods’ criminal case in the crash is pending. His Capitol sentencing was rescheduled for later this month.

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