Metal guitarist will be the first US Capitol rioter to plead guilty

Back on January 6, Iced Earth guitarist Jon Schaffer decided to join angry MAGAs, various militia groups, Proud Boys, Three Percenters, and QAnon whackos to storm the US Capitol building. As a founding member of the Oath Keepers, another ultra-Trump organization, it was with like-minded people.

That Schaffer made it inside the US Capitol building that day is undisputed. There are many pictures that put him there with his tactical gear and bear spray, so it was fairly easy to make an arrest after being placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. He soon nabbed and charged with six crimes. He spent much of that last 100 days in an Indiana jail awaiting trial.

Hold up, though. There’s been a new development. Schaffer has decided to plead guilty for his roles in the insurrection–but for two of the initial charges: obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress (good for up to 20 years in prison) and trespassing on restricted grounds of the Capitol while armed with a deadly or dangerous weapon (that calls for up to 10 years).

Schaffer is also cooperating with the government. A plea deal has apparently been reached along with an agreement to cooperate with organizations. This still means Schaffer is set to spend about three-and-a-half years in prison. This makes him the first rioter to plead guilty.

According to Blabbermouth, the judge imposed some conditions on Schaffer:

  • He must submit to court supervision in the Northern District of Indiana.
  • He will surrender his passport and any other international travel documents.
  • He must stay outside of D.C. except for court hearings and meetings with attorneys.
  • Schaffer will be permitted to travel within the continental United States with notice to pretrial services.
  • He cannot possess any firearms or explosive devices, including legally owned firearms. Any firearms must be removed from his home.
  • And yes, he was offered to be sponsored by the government’s witness protection program.

Oh, along the way, Schaffer said he barely knew anything about Oath Keepers.

Read/watch more here, here, and here. Thanks to Sean and Tom for the links.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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