12:29 PM PDT, September 3, 2021
The bare-chested, spear-wielding rioter dressed as a warrior ready for battle replete with painted face and helmet with horns, who stormed the U.S. Capitol pleaded guilty on Friday to a single felony for obstructing the Electoral College proceedings on January 6, according to a published report.
Jacob Chansley, 34, of Arizona, who called himself the “QAnon Shaman” and howled in the U.S. Senate Chamber during the invasion, pleaded guilty to one of the most serious charges that carry a sentence of 20 years in prison, during Friday’s virtual hearing in DC District Court with District Judge Royce C. Lamberth, CNN reported
The judge accepted Chansley’s plea agreement with prosecutors after ruling he was mentally competent to understand the proceeding, CNBC reported.
As part of the plea agreement, Chansley agreed to pay $2,000 in restitution for damage to the Capitol. He could also face a fine of up to $250,000, CNN reported.
During the plea hearing, Chansley’s attorney, Albert Watkins, asked that his client get released before sentencing. His request was denied by the Justice Department. And, the judge said he will issue a decision soon.
His sentencing is scheduled for November 17. As part of the plea deal, the prosecutor suggested a prison sentence between three and four years. He would get credit for the time he already served in jail, CNBC reported.
Chansley has been in jail since his arrest in January and was being held without bond. He was originally charged with six federal crimes, a report said.
The charges include felony counts of civil disorder and violent entry, and obstruction of an official proceeding, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. He was originally indicted in federal court in Washington, CBS News reported.
According to the affidavit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia obtained by Inside Edition Digital, Chansley voluntarily called the FBI the day after the riot and confessed to being the man in the photos. He also said he told law enforcement that he came to D.C. with other patriots “at the request of President Trump.”
Chansley’s attorney said that he was “non-violent, peaceful and possessed of genuine mental health issues.” The judge ordered Chansley to get a psychological evaluation to determine if he is fit to stand trial, CBS reported.
In July, Watkins told Reuters that his client was in plea negotiations after prison psychologists diagnosed him as suffering from mental illnesses, including transient schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety, CNBC reported.
Watkins said in a statement to CBS News that his client no longer wants to be associated with the conspiracy theory QAnon.
“Mr. Chansley, a long avowed and practicing Shaman, has repudiated the ‘Q’ previously assigned to him and requests future references to him be devoid of use of the letter ‘Q’.”
According to the Justice Department, Chansley was one of nearly 600 defendants charged as a result of the January 6 insurrection, CBS reported.