ROSS TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A Ross Township woman accused of taking part in the violence at the U.S. Capitol will remain free on bond until her next hearing.
At a federal hearing in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, Jennifer Marie Heinl was ordered to stay in Western Pennsylvania unless she needs to travel to D.C. for court hearings, surrender her passport and is not to possess firearms.
Her next hearing is in D.C. federal court on May 24.
Heinl is facing several federal charges including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
“To make it clear, I’ve known Jennie Heinl a long time and she’s not a criminal. She’s deeply embarrassed,” said Marty Dietz, attorney for Jennifer Heinl.
According to court documents, Heinl is affiliated with Kenneth Grayson, the Bridgeville man who is also facing charges.
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Grayson was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct which impedes the conduct of government business; disruptive conduct in the Capitol buildings; parading, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol buildings; and obstructing or impeding any official proceeding.
The FBI executed a federal search warrant for Grayson’s Facebook account, where investigators found messages between Heinl and Grayson on Facebook Messenger from Nov. 12, 2020, to Jan. 11, 2021, according to court documents. The two discussed travel arrangements to Washington, D.C., including rental vehicles and hotels.
When investigators questioned Heinl, she told them that she went to Washington on Jan. 5 and returned the next day. She stated that she went to the rally alone but saw Grayson there. She also told investigators that she did not go inside the U.S. Capitol, according to court documents.
“If somebody would ask me - Would Jennie Heinl ever be involved in something like this years ago, I’d said impossible, never. But, she has some political beliefs. She’s conservative and she believed that she was supporting the President,” said Dietz.
During Thursday’s hearing, Heinl informed the court she would waive her right to an identity hearing and was assigned a preliminary hearing on March 24.
“There’s nothing we can do. They’re right. They’re right. She was inside the U.S. Capitol. They’re right. The question is - where does this fall? I mean, you know we have statutes and was it a violent entry? Was she violent? Was she parading. She was demonstrating,” said Dietz.
Channel 11′s Rick Earle learned Heinl’s husband is a detective with the Shaler Police Department.
Court records indicate he filed for divorce in February, one month following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Channel 11 has learned Heinl’s husband is a member of the FBI’s violent crime task force unit in Pittsburgh.
The department’s chief tells Channel 11 Heinl was on-duty at the time of the insurrection and does not support what took place at the U.S. Capitol.
We are told Heinl is a valued member of the department and task force.
Jennifer Heinl has been released on a $10,000 unsecured bond.