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Lawyer for 'QAnon Shaman': Tests Show He's Mentally Ill

Tests reveal multiple diagnoses for Jacob Chansley, and plea deal is in the works
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2021 8:53 AM CDT
Lawyer for 'QAnon Shaman': Tests Show He's Mentally Ill
Jacob Hansley (with the horns) is seen at the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

(Newser) – One of the most recognizable members of the mob that stormed the Capitol has been diagnosed with multiple mental illnesses that include transient schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, his lawyer tells Reuters. Psychologists with the Federal Bureau of Prisons made the findings after testing Jacob Chansley, aka the QAnon Shaman, says attorney Albert Watkins. A shirtless Chansley was widely photographed in the Capitol building wearing a headdress with fur and horns. He faces six charges stemming from the riot, per Insider, but Watkins is now working on a plea deal in the wake of the mental health diagnoses. The test results mesh with what the US Navy found in regard to Chansley back when he served in 2006, Watkins adds.

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"What we've done is we've taken a guy who is unarmed, harmless, peaceful ... with a pre-existing mental vulnerability of significance, and we've rendered him a chocolate soup mess," says Watkins. He says his client's problems have been made worse because of solitary confinement. Prosecutors have generally pushed back against the notion that Chansley is harmless. They say video evidence shows Chansley inside the Senate chamber, where he called then VP Mike Pence a "f---ing traitor" and left behind a threatening note. Watkins, though, says his client is delusional and has expressed the belief that he is directly related to Jesus and Buddha. (Read more QAnon stories.)

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