‘QAnon Shaman’ jailed for more than three years in most severe 6 Jan riot sentence yet

Having already served almost 11 months in prison, Jacob Chansley could be released in early 2024 as the next presidential election kicks off

Justin Vallejo
New York
Wednesday 17 November 2021 20:03
'QAnon Shaman' to spend more than 3 years in prison for Capitol riot
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The “QAnon Shaman” has been handed the most severe sentence yet among rioters charged with storming the US Capitol on 6 January.

Jacob Anthony Angeli Chansley was sentenced to 41 months – or almost three and a half years – plus 36 months supervised release.

The term is 10 months shorter than the 51 months prosecutors had sought in the case. Having already served around 11 months in prison, Mr Chansley could be released in early 2024 as the next presidential election race gets into full swing.

The sentence was given after Mr Chansley delivered a rambling 30-minute speech comparing himself to Jesus and Mahatma Gandhi and criticising the media for “controversialising” him.

US district judge Royce C Lamberth sarcastically compared the address to something Martin Luther King might have said, adding that Mr Chansley would get credit for the time already served, said to be 317 days.

Defence attorney Albert Watkins said after the hearing that Mr Chansley was respectful of the court and did not plan to appeal against the 41-month sentence.

“He is absolutely embracing being held accountable,” Mr Watkins said. “He is a man of discipline, he gets it, he understands what he was looking at, he understood the risks associated with trial,” he added.

It is a stark turnaround from when Mr Chansley became the red, white and blue-painted face of the 6 January riot at the US Capitol in support of Donald Trump.

Mr Watkins said that the former president and partisan politics were no longer “important” to Mr Chansley.

“His focus is not social media… his focus is on ‘What do I need to do to commence the healing process?’” Mr Watkins said.

Despite his client having received the harshest sentence yet of all the Capitol rioters, Mr Watkins scoffed at the suggestion that Mr Chansley was some kind of ringleader of an attempted insurrection.

“An insurrectionist? Look up the word. Are you going follow the guy who’s naked, tattooed nipples, January, DC, hours outside with horns, face paint and a fur and say, yeah, that’s the guy I want, I’m following him?” Mr Watkins said.

“Unless you’re smoking crack, which, you know, is not bad on occasion.”

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