Warren County couple charged in connection to Capitol riot; linked to Oath Keepers

WARREN COUNTY — A Warren County couple, Sandra and Bennie Parker, are charged with conspiracy, destruction of government property, obstruction of an official proceeding and restricted building or grounds for their accused roles in the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

Both Morrow residents were released on their own recognizance after an initial appearance in U.S. District Court Thursday following their arrests, online records show.

>> Grand jury indicts 2 Champaign County residents for alleged role in Capitol riot

According to court records, Bennie Parker had numerous text message exchanges with Champaign County resident Jessica Watkins leading up to the riot.

Watkins is one of two Champaign County residents indicted last month for their accused roles in the riot after the FBI raided an apartment in Woodstock. Donovan Crowl was the other.

“When would you like to meet up before we go to DC....you could come up to our place, or meet up somewhere,” Watkins texted Bennie Parker, according to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court.

Ultimately, Bennie Parker agreed to meet with Watkins at her bar in Woodstock, according to text messages included in the affidavit.

Footage included with the affidavit showed both Sandra and Bennie Parker at the Capitol with Watkins and Crowl. In one photo, the FBI said Sandra Parker was standing directly behind Crowl inside the Capitol.

Both Sandra and Bennie Parker also were seen on surveillance video inside the Comfort Inn Ballston, where the four are said to have stayed during their time in Washington D.C., according to the affidavit.

After the attack on the Capitol, Bennie Parker and Watkins texted a few days later as the FBI was looking for people involved.

“I’ve been following the FBI wanted list, seems they’re only interested in people who destroyed things. I wouldn’t worry about them coming for us,” Watkins texted Bennie Parker.

“I’m sure they’re not on us see some pics but no militia,” Bennie Parker texted Watkins.