By Mark Hosenball and Jan Wolfe WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Capitol rioter nicknamed the “QAnon Shaman” for his horned head-dress arrived in federal court on Wednesday to face a judge who could sentence him to more than four years in prison for his role in the deadly Jan. 6 attack by former President Donald […]
U.S. seeks four years in prison for Capitol rioter ‘QAnon Shaman’
By Mark Hosenball and Jan Wolfe
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Capitol rioter nicknamed the “QAnon Shaman” for his horned head-dress arrived in federal court on Wednesday to face a judge who could sentence him to more than four years in prison for his role in the deadly Jan. 6 attack by former President Donald Trump’s followers.
Prosecutors have asked U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth to impose a 51-month sentence on Jacob Chansley, who pleaded guilty in September to obstructing an official proceeding when he and thousands of others stormed the building in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s election.
“Defendant Chansley’s now-famous criminal acts have made him the public face of the Capitol riot,” prosecutors said in asking for the 51-month sentence. That would be the stiffest imposed on any Capitol rioter, after a former mixed martial artist filmed punching a police officer during violence was sentenced last week to 41 months in prison.
Chansley’s attorneys have asked the judge for a sentence of time served for their client, who has been detained since his January arrest. He appeared in court in a dark green prison jumpsuit, with a beard and shaved head.
While in detention, Chansley was diagnosed by prison officials with transient schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety. When he entered his guilty plea, Chansley said he was disappointed Trump had not pardoned him.
Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives and acquitted by the Senate on a charge of inciting the Jan. 6 riot for a fiery speech that preceded it in which he told his followers to “fight like hell.”
Four people died in the violence. A Capitol Police officer who had been attacked by protesters died the day after the riot and four police officers who took part in the defense of the Capitol later took their own lives. About 140 police officers were injured.
Defense lawyer Albert Watkins said the U.S. Navy in 2006 had found Chansley suffered from personality disorder but nonetheless declared him “fit for duty.”
“We are optimistic. We are looking forward to a good day,” Watkins said as he walked into the courthouse.
(Reporting By Mark Hosenball; Editing by Dan Grebler and Steve Orlofsky)