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The man who became nationally known as the QAnon Shaman for his unusual attire worn during the January 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol is heading to prison for about 3-1/2 years.
Jacob Chansley, 34, who pleaded guilty in September to one count of felony obstruction of an official proceeding, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court to 41 months behind bars, which is apparently the longest sentence for any Capitol rioter thus far. A fine of $2,000 is also part of the penalty.
The jail time is purportedly the lowest the Ronald Reagan-appointed judge could go under federal sentencing guidelines.
Prosecutors were seeking a prison term of about 51 months under a charge that carried a maximum sentence of 20 years along with a $1 million fine.
“The Department of Justice alleged that Chansley entered the Capitol building at 2:14 p.m. and eventually went onto the Senate floor, taking pictures at the dais. He was accused of saying ‘Mike Pence is a f—— traitor,’ and writing a note that read, “It’s Only A Matter of Time. Justice Is Coming!’,” Fox News explained.
A period of 36 months of supervised release will follow after he completes his sentence. Chansley has been in custody since January.
“With his furry horned hat, 6-foot spear and bare tattooed chest, prosecutors described Chansley as the ‘public face of the Capitol riot’ in a sentencing memo…Prosecutors added that Chansley, who promoted the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory, used social media to spread ‘false information and hateful rhetoric’ that inflamed the riot,” NBC News reported.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 3, 2021
Federal authorities have charged 600-plus individuals who participated in storming the Capitol, about 100 or so who have pleaded primarily to misdemeanors. No one has yet been charged with any insurrection-related crimes.
In an email to NBC News earlier this month, Chansley’s lawyer, Albert Watkins, “called prosecutors’ recommendation ‘willfully delusional’ and ‘shameful.’ He described Chansley as a ‘young, gentle man with zero criminal history and long standing mental health vulnerabilities.'”
At today’s sentencing hearing, Chansley told sentencing Judge Royce Lamberth as part of what is being described as a lengthy courtroom statement, “I am in no way, shape or form a dangerous criminal. I am not a violent man, I am not an insurrectionist, I am not a domestic terrorist. I’m a good man who broke the law, and I’m doing all I can to take responsibility for that.”
“My shamanic attire is designed to ward off evil spirits, not to scare people,” he insisted.
“He wasn’t violent, he wasn’t destructive, he wasn’t a planner, he wasn’t an organizer,” his attorney also told the federal judge.
“I am nothing like these people that I have been incarcerated with,” Chansley told the judge in an apparent reference to the repeat offenders in the facility. “They’re acting like they’re in the Holiday Inn while they’re incarcerated.”
In January, Watkins told a media outlet that “his client regrets very, very much having not just been duped by the President, but by being in a position where he allowed that duping to put him in a position to make decisions he should not have made.”
In March, Chansley gave an interview to CBS News during which, among other things, he expressed disappointment about not receiving a pardon from President Trump.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 4, 2021
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