US Capitol rioter 'QAnon Shaman' sentenced to 41 months in prison

Shirtless Trump supporter said he was disappointed former president had not pardoned him

A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced the US Capitol rioter - nicknamed the "QAnon Shaman" for his horned headdress - to 41 months in prison for his role in the deadly January 6 attack carried out by former president Donald Trump's followers.

Prosecutors asked US District Judge Royce Lamberth to impose a longer, 51-month sentence on Jacob Chansley, who pleaded guilty in September to obstructing an official proceeding when he and thousands of others stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's election.

Chansley was taken into custody shortly after the riot. His lawyer, Albert Watkins, had asked that his client be given no additional jail time.

Addressing the court before his sentencing, Chansley gave a long, rambling statement in which he expressed contrition for his “indefensible” January 6 actions, recounted his work with abused children and spoke of his love of Jesus and Gandhi.

“I am in no way, shape or form a dangerous criminal,” he said.

“I am not a violent man, I am not an insurrectionist, I am not a domestic terrorist. I’m a good man who broke the law and I’m doing all I can to take responsibility for that.”

The sentence matches one imposed by a judge on a former mixed martial artist filmed punching a police officer during the violence.

While in detention, Chansley was diagnosed by prison officials with transient schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety.

Mr Watkins said the US Navy in 2006 had found Chansley suffered from a personality disorder but nonetheless declared him "fit for duty".

When he entered his guilty plea, Chansley said he was disappointed Mr Trump had not pardoned him.

Mr Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives and acquitted by the Senate on a charge of inciting the January 6 riot due to a fiery speech he made right before 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 defence of the Capitol later took their own lives. About 140 police officers were injured.

In the months since the riot, federal prosecutors have brought charges against about 650 people. So far, at least 90 have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and at least 15 to felony charges, court papers show.

Updated: November 17th 2021, 7:57 PM
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