Jacob Chansley, a horned and face-painted “QAnon shaman,” who immediately became one of the most prominent and recognizable characters to attack the Capitol and Senate Chamber in the January 6 riots, was sentenced to 41 months in prison.
Judge Royce Lamberth said he was moved by Chansley’s lengthy statement to the court, in which he claimed he had taken responsibility and expressed remorse for his behavior, but called his actions “horrible.”
“What you did here had hindered government action,” Lamberth said. Chansley was also sentenced to 36 months in parole. He will also be reimbursed for the 11 months he has already been imprisoned.
In a statement to the court, Chansley said he had “no excuse” for his behavior, “but I am by no means a dangerous criminal. … I’m not a rebel. I’m a good man who broke the law. “
Chansley pleaded guilty in September to obstructing a federal trial, a crime in a deal with prosecutors.
On January 6, Chansley had a bare chest and wore a horned helmet, face painting, and furs while participating in the Capitol siege. He was initially charged on six charges, including civil unrest, violent entry and disruptive behavior.
His attorney, Albert Watkins, said his client was not violent and has mental health problems, and he was not one of the planners of the January 6 siege.
In an interview with 60 minutes + in March, Chansley denied seeking an “attack on this country.” It is wrong. It’s completely inaccurate. ”
He became perhaps the most recognizable participant in the siege, not just because of his dress, but because he was among those who arrived in the Senate chamber after legislators fled the area. At some point, he stood on a podium behind the Senate President’s table, which had previously been served on the same day by then-Vice President Mike Pence. Pence led the confirmation of the election results, which showed that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election.
Prosecutors are demanding a 51-month prison sentence equivalent to a maximum sentence.
Prosecutor Kimberly Paschall presented a video of the day and the role of Chansley, including when he stepped into the Senate chamber and shouted, “Time has passed, Mom …” He called the video “cool.”
Paschall also quoted a note he wrote on Pence’s desk: “It’s just a matter of time. Justice is coming.” Their argument was that while Chansley did not attack the cops, he contributed to the chaos of the day.
But Lamberth pointed out that there was no evidence that Chansley knew the rioters had erected a log tree for Pence.
“It’s cold considering the context of the day,” Paschall said, adding that Chansley called Pence a “F-ing traitor.”
Speaking, Watkins argued that the image of Chansley as the face of the January 6 attack was much different than the reality. He said the government had challenged the harsh sentence and ignored the fact that Chansley had had mental health problems in the past but had not addressed them even while he was in the Navy. Watkins has referred to a naval doctor’s diagnosis of a schizotypal personality disorder in 2006 that was not told to him at the time, he said, although Chansley had sought medical help to see if he was “crazy.”
“Not everyone who participated in the events of January 6 was the same,” Watkins said, claiming that Chansley had taken responsibility for his actions.