Jacob Chansley, the so-called ‘QAnon Shaman’, has been sentenced to 41 years in prison for his role in the Capitol riot (Pictures: AP/Reuters)
The man known as ‘QAnon Shaman’ has been sentenced to 41 months in prison for his role in the January 6 Capitol riot – a more lenient penalty than what federal prosecutors sought.
Jacob Chansley, 34, avoided 51 months in prison, which prosecutors requested from US District Judge Royce Lamberth. Prosecutors had also asked that Chansley pay $2,000 in restitution.
Chansley pleaded guilty in September to obstructing an official proceeding when he and fellow fans of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol trying to stop Congress from certifying the election for President Joe Biden.
His sentence matches that of a former mixed martial artist who was recorded punching a police officer during the January 6 insurrection. That was the strictest punishment to date, among the roughly 675 criminal cases that have come out of the deadly riot.
Chansley was dubbed the QAnon Shaman because he wore a furry horned hat and held a six-foot spear with an American flag when he broke into the Capitol building. Images of him shouted into a bullhorn and leading rioters through the building went viral. His sentencing memo described him as the ‘public face of the Capitol riot’.
Chansley’s attorneys asked the judge for a sentence of time served. He has been detained since January and while in prison was diagnosed with transient schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression.
Before his sentencing, Chansley gave a long speech and claimed that a hard childhood shaped his life as an adult.
‘The hardest part of this is that I know I am to blame,’ Chansley said. ‘I thought I was going to get 20 years solitary confinement… This trauma has done something to me… I have the white hairs to prove it… on my chest… on my arms… I should not have white hairs your honor.’
It was enough to convince Lamberth that he is ‘on the right track’.
Chansley while entering his guilty plea said he was disappointed that he did not receive a pardon from Trump, who rallied his supporters on January 6 to ‘fight like hell’.
Other judges will likely use the sentence handed down by Lamberth as a benchmark for sentencing other Capitol rioters, the majority which have yet to receive their punishments.
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