WASHINGTON (WCMH) — A Washington, D.C. jury convicted on Thursday a Powell man who participated in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol two years ago.
Alexander Sheppard, 23, was found guilty of obstructing an official proceeding, a felony offense, and several misdemeanor crimes for storming the Capitol building with a large group of rioters as Congress was certifying President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 general election, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Video recordings showed Sheppard climbing the stairs on the northwest side of the Capitol and entering a door with shattered windows, the department said. Once inside, Sheppard crossed multiple police lines and ran to the Speaker’s Lobby doors, where he screamed at officers.
The FBI was alerted to Sheppard’s conduct in 2021 by a friend of the 23-year-old, who contacted the agency about Sheppard’s social media posts. A December 2020 Facebook post made by Sheppard read: “Millions of us will be in Washington D.C. on January 6th to protest the RIGGED election and the acts of WAR that China committed on our country. I’ll see you there!”
After using a social media photo posted by Sheppard on Jan. 6, the FBI was able to identify him in the crowd of insurrectionists at the Capitol, according to court documents. Prior to his arrest, Sheppard requested an attorney before answering questions but admitted he went to Washington, D.C. to protest the “rigged election.”
Obstructing an official proceeding is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, according to the Justice Department.
Sheppard was also convicted of four misdemeanor crimes: entering and remaining in a restricted grounds or building; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a capitol building; and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a capitol building.
In the two years since the Jan. 6 insurrection, the Justice Department said nearly 950 people have been arrested in all 50 states for crimes related to the Capitol breach, including nearly 300 who have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.