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Feds: Ohio couple worked with Oath Keepers militia in Capitol insurrection

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Posted at 6:27 PM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 18:27:57-05

MORROW, Ohio — An Ohio husband and wife face federal charges in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, according to a federal affidavit filed Thursday.

Federal prosecutors allege in court documents that Sandra Ruth Parker, 60, and Bennie Alvin Parker, 70, both of Morrow, Ohio, conspired to forcibly storm the Capitol, planned their attack in advance and communicated with one another before, during and after the attack.

The Parkers dressed in “camouflaged-combat attire” and worked with other members of the Oath Keepers, “a large but loosely organized coalition of militia that believe the federal government has been co-opted by a shadowy conspiracy that is trying to strip American citizens of their rights,” to breach the Capitol, according to the affidavit.

The pair were among a group that violently stormed the Capitol in an effort to obstruct Congress’ affirmation of the Electoral College vote certifying Democrat President Joe Biden's win over their favored candidate, former Republican President Donald Trump. Five people died as a result of the riots, and two officers later died by suicide.

Video recorded by an Associated Press photojournalist shows Oath Keepers members in a “stack,” a tactical formation used in the military, moving toward the Capitol. The affidavit says the doors the group breached were damaged; multiple panes of glass were smashed and a handle was broken off.

Members of the stack then gathered in the north section of the Rotunda. Surveillance video taken at 2:41 p.m. shows Sandra Parker in that group.

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This photo, inserted in the affidavit, shows Sandra Parker and other Oath Keepers members in the Rotunda on Jan. 6.

The Parkers are the latest pair of Ohioans to face federal charges in connection to the insurrection. Federal agents also arrested Army veteran Jessica Watkins and ex-Marine Donovan Ray Crowl, of Woodstock, Ohio, late last month. Watkins and Crowl were also amid the stack of Oath Keepers who breached the Capitol, the affidavit says.

Bennie Parker, dressed in a similar uniform, remained on the grounds of the Capitol and communicated with Sandra and other Oath Keepers members while they were inside the building, the affidavit says.

Bennie and Sandra Parker are charged with aiding and abetting, conspiracy, destruction of government property, obstruction of an official proceeding and restricted building or grounds access.

Sandra Parker was formerly employed by the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College, FBI agents and a university official confirmed, but hasn't worked for the school "in any capacity" for years.

"Sandra Stockman Parker is not an employee of UC Blue Ash College or the University of Cincinnati and does not reflect the views of UC Blue Ash or the University," a spokesperson wrote in an email Friday afternoon.

She was last employed full-time by the college in 2015 and continued as a consultant for an indefinite amount of time after that.

This article was written by Courtney Francisco or Abby Dawn for WCPO.