District Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Second Degree Murder While Armed in 2020 Shooting on Martin Luther King Jr. Ave.
WASHINGTON – A Virginia man, a self-proclaimed member of the Proud Boys, was sentenced today on a felony charge for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.
James Russel Davis, 47, of King George, Va., was sentenced to two months in prison, followed by six months of home detention, and 24 months of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly. Davis pleaded guilty to a felony offense of civil disorder on June 15, 2023.
According to court documents, on Jan. 5, 2021, Davis traveled from his home in Virginia to Washington, D.C., to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally and protest Congress’ certification of the Electoral College. Court records state that Davis, a self-proclaimed member of the Virginia chapter of the Proud Boys, communicated with other Proud Boys members via Telegram, an encrypted messaging system, about the upcoming protest. For example, on Jan. 4, 2021, Davis wrote:
“Bad Ass PRESIDENT TRUMP! 1776 REVOLUTION! GENTLEMEN, I Think PRESIDENT TRUMP just gave every PATRIOT and PROUD BOY the GREEN LIGHT! Time to UNLEASH HELL! POYB! UHURU!”
Court records say that on Jan. 5, 2021, Davis stayed overnight at a campground with other members of the Proud Boys, and on the morning of January 6, traveled to the National Mall near the area of the rally and then marched with members of the Proud Boys to the Capitol.
According to court documents, at 2:35 p.m. Davis was at the front of the crowd of rioters who attempted to breach the defensive perimeter guarding the staircase to the lower west terrace and personally engaged with at least three different officers while attempting to breach the police line, all while carrying a long wooden stick in one hand.
In one encounter with law enforcement, court documents say that Davis first pushed against a police officer’s riot shield with his left hand, which was holding the stick. Davis next moved towards an officer without a shield, who was forced to push him away using a baton. Court documents state that Davis, rather than retreating, pushed back against the baton and put his right hand on the officer’s shoulder. Throughout the confrontation with the first two officers, Davis, who had once served less than two years in the U.S. Marine Corps, repeatedly yelled in the officers’ faces that he was a military police officer and had fought for his country.
At about 2:36 pm, court records say that Davis went up to a third officer, experienced a medical issue, and then collapsed. Davis was pulled away from the police line by other rioters while law enforcement officers were forced to retreat up the staircase to the lower west terrace. Later in the day, Davis sent a long message via Telegram describing his conduct, which read in part:
“I did hit a few cops on the head with the BIG STICK, but unfortunately lost that beautiful weapon. We pushed forward and pushed the Capitol Police up their Emergency Staircase. I was moving forward up the stairs when someone fell and like dominoes, I ended up falling on the concrete, hitting my head which knocked me out … What I do finally remember about the Assault on the Capitol, I was on the front of the line, I kept pointing to my MARINE CORPS cover and patch saying I f— FOUGHT IN IRAQ FOR AMERICA and FREEDOM; WHAT THE f— ARE YOU DOING? LET US IN OUR CAPITOL! THIS IS OUR HOUSE!”
The FBI arrested Davis on July 28, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
This case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Richmond and Washington Field Offices. Significant assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 33 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,100 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 400 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.