Man who attacked reporter on Jan. 6 sentenced to more than 4 years

Two months after admitting he assaulted a police officer and a journalist during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Shane Woods was speeding down I-55 in his pickup at 101 mph when he was stopped by a police officer outside Springfield, Ill., according to court records. The officer said he could smell alcohol on the driver’s breath, but Woods denied drinking. Woods said he was “done” and was “going to end it” because he was facing years in prison and likely tax evasion charges.

According to police records, Woods then took off, going up an exit ramp and onto the highway in the wrong direction and straight into oncoming traffic. The resulting crash killed a 35-year-old woman who was on her way to visit friends in St. Louis. When Woods’s blood was drawn at the hospital, it had an alcohol content of .177 — more than twice the legal limit.

Now facing murder charges in Illinois related to the Nov. 8, 2022, crash, Woods was sentenced Wednesday to 54 months in prison for his crimes on Jan. 6, 2021. That sentence will begin after any punishment he receives in Illinois.

Woods, 45, came to D.C. that day armed with a knife, after telling a friend, “it’s going to be biblical,” according to prosecutors. First, he attacked a Capitol Police officer who was part of a small group trying to hold back rioters on the grounds around 2 p.m., as the building was being breached. She had just been hit with bear spray when Woods rammed her into a metal barricade; she later said it felt like she was “hit by a truck.”

Hours later, as rioters were being forced out of the Capitol building, Woods and others turned to menacing reporters covering the attack. They climbed over bicycle racks separating camera crews from the crowd. The journalists fled, and rioters, including Woods, started destroying the equipment they left behind. Some poured water on cameras and tried to set them on fire. When a Reuters reporter picked up his video camera and tried to get away, Woods chased him. Getting a running start, Woods slammed into the cameraman’s shoulder and sent him and his equipment crashing to the ground.

People in the crowd were filming. Woods turned and smiled for the cameras.

The next day, Woods texted a friend that he believed Donald Trump would still prevail, citing the QAnon conspiracy theory that sees the former president as a messianic warrior.

“Dont give up hope at all,” he wrote.

After the car crash in Illinois, Woods was hospitalized with spinal and foot fractures. According to police, he was overheard telling a visitor that his goal had been to drive into a semitrailer truck. The owner of a heating and cooling business outside Springfield, Woods told his probation officer in the D.C. case that he had not paid taxes since 2017.

Two other people were injured in the collision. Along with first-degree murder, Woods is charged in Illinois with driving under the influence involving death, aggravated driving under the influence involving great bodily harm and aggravated fleeing a police officer. He is set to go to trial in January.

In a court filing, defense attorney Dwight Crawley said Woods “comes from a fractured home” and has “untreated mental health issues … exacerbated by his drug and alcohol abuse.”

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