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Horned Rioter Pleads Guilty

Jacob Chansley has distanced himself from QAnon and Trump since Capitol riot, lawyer says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 3, 2021 2:26 PM CDT
'QAnon Shaman' Pleads Guilty
Jacob Chansley, shown in a sheriff's photo, pleaded guilty to a felony Friday in the attack on the Capitol.   (Alexandria Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

(Newser) – An Arizona man who sported face paint, no shirt, and a furry hat with horns when he joined the mob that stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6 pleaded guilty Friday to a felony charge and wants to be released from jail while he awaits sentencing. Jacob Chansley, who was widely photographed in the Senate chamber with a flagpole topped with a spear, could face 41 to 51 months in prison under sentencing guidelines, a prosecutor said. The man who called himself "QAnon Shaman" has been jailed for nearly eight months since his arrest, the AP reports. Before entering the plea, Chansley was found by a DC judge to be mentally competent after having been transferred to a Colorado facility for a mental health evaluation.

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His lawyer Albert Watkins said that the solitary confinement that Chansley faced for most of his time in jail has had an adverse effect on his mental health and that his time in Colorado helped him regain his sharpness. "I am very appreciative for the court's willingness to have my mental vulnerabilities examined," Chansley said before pleading guilty to a charge of obstructing an official proceeding. US District Judge Royce Lamberth is considering Chansley's request to remain free until sentencing on Nov. 17. Chansley was among the first wave of rioters to force its way into the Capitol. Photos of him, with his face painted like the American flag, wearing a bear skin head dress, and looking as if he were howling, were among the first striking images to emerge from the riot.

(Read more Capitol riot stories.)

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