IL man who pleaded guilty for role in Jan. 6 riot charged with first-degree murder in wrong-way car collision

A central Illinois man who pleaded guilty to felony charges for his role in the January 6 riot at the U.S Capitol was charged with first-degree murder Wednesday in the death of a woman killed in a wrong-way car collision on November 8, Sangamon County officials said.

According to the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s office, Shane Jason Woods of Auburn was driving north in the southbound lanes on Interstate 55 in Springfield when his pickup truck slammed into a car driven by 35-year-old Lauren Wegner of Clayton, North Carolina. Wegner died from multiple blunt force injuries, according to the county coroner’s office.

Woods has been indicted on felony counts of first-degree murder, aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol and aggravated fleeing and eluding a peace officer and is being held in Sangamon County Jail, according to a press release from the county’s state’s attorney’s office. Woods’ bond is set at $2 million, but the county filed a petition to deny bail.

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“The evidence will show the Defendant made numerous statements before and after the fatal collision on Interstate 55 which establish his intent to enter upon the highway for the purpose of striking another vehicle,” the petition said.

The sentence for first-degree murder in Illinois is 20 years to life in state prison.

It was not immediately clear who is representing Woods in the case. Dwight Crawley, Woods’ defense attorney for the U.S. Capitol riot case, did not immediately return a call requesting comment.

Shane Jason Woods, above, who pleaded guilty to felony charges during the Jan. 6 protests was charged with first-degree murder on Nov. 16, 2022, after a woman was killed in a wrong-way car collision on Nov. 8, 2022.
(Sangamon County Jail via AP)

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Woods pleaded guilty in September to felony charges for assaulting a law enforcement officer and a member of the news media during the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol building, federal prosecutors said. He is one of hundreds of Americans charged for crimes during the insurrection.

During the siege, Woods rammed his shoulder into a U.S. Capitol Police officer, knocking her into a bicycle barricade, and tackled a member of the media, according to court documents. His sentencing is scheduled for January 13, 2023.

The charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding a law enforcement officer carries a statutory maximum sentence of eight years in prison. The federal assault charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of one year.

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Woods is among more than 30 Illinois residents charged in the Capitol riot.