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WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

Southwest Ohio couple charged in Capitol riot

Sandra Parker, 60, and Bennie Parker, 70, of Morrow, Ohio in Warren County, are facing federal charges.
Credit: Surveillance video/court documents

WASHINGTON D.C., DC — A couple from southwest Ohio has been charged in connection to the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Federal court documents allege that Sandra Parker, 60, and Bennie Parker, 70, of Morrow in Warren County, entered the Capitol "to obstruct the Congressional proceeding during that day."

Investigators said in the court documents that the Parkers conspired with others in advance to forcibility enter the Capitol.

Investigators said Bennie Parker was texting with Jessica Watkins, of Woodstock, Ohio, who is also charged in the riot, leading up to Jan. 6 to have the couple meet her in Washington, D.C.

Bennie also texted Watkins about what needs to be done to become a member of the Oath Keepers, a group that believes in a “shadowy conspiracy” to strip Americans of their rights. 

According to the text conversations reported in the court documents, Watkins told Bennie "Weapons are ok."

The court documents also show screengrabs and photos that appear to show the Parkers outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, including a video posted by the New York Times.

Watkins and Bennie are also said to have texted with each other several days after the riot, about the federal investigation.

"I've been following FBI wanted list, seems they're only interested in people who destroyed things.  I wouldn't worry about them coming after us," Watkins texted Bennie.

"I'm sure they're not on us see some pics but no militia (sic)," Bennie responded.

The Parkers were charged with conspiracy, destruction of government property and aiding and abetting, obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting, and entering restricted buildings or grounds.

The couple appeared by video conference call in federal court in Cincinnati and were released without bond, according to court records.

The Parkers were ordered to appear in federal court in Washington, D.C. to answer to the charges.