'QAnon Shaman' January 6 rioter released from jail months early

Jacob Chansley now in halfway house after prison sentence for federal obstruction charges

Jacob Chansley with other Trump supporters in the Capitol, on January 6, 2021. AP
Powered by automated translation

Jacob Chansley, a rioter at the deadly January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, was released early from a prison sentence to a halfway house on Thursday, US news reports said.

Chansley is in a "residential re-entry management" centre in Phoenix, Arizona, CBS News reported, quoting federal prison records.

He is due to be released on May 25, months earlier than scheduled, according to the records.

Chansley was dubbed the "QAnon Shaman" after he wore face paint and plastic horns as he yelled and marched through the halls of the building that is the symbol of American democracy.

Far-right supporters gathered on the National Mall that day and burst into the US Capitol after a speech in which then-president Donald Trump told them to "fight like hell".

Seven people, including police officers, died in connection to the attack.

Chansley pled guilty to federal charges of obstructing an official proceeding. The rioters were trying to prevent the formal Congressional certification of the 2020 election win for Democrat Joe Biden.

Chansley was also charged with civil disorder and being disruptive in a restricted building, the Capitol.

He was sentenced to 41 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release.

Chansley was due to be released from prison in July this year. Federal prisoners are allowed to request early release.

'QAnon Shaman' sentenced to 41 months in prison

FILE PHOTO: Jacob Chansley, holding a sign referencing QAnon, speaks as supporters of U. S.  President Donald Trump gather to protest about the early results of the 2020 presidential election, in front of the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC), in Phoenix, Arizona November 5, 2020.  REUTERS / Cheney Orr / File Photo

“After serving 11 months in solitary prior to his sentence being imposed, and only 16 months of his sentence thereafter, it is appropriate this gentle and intelligent young man be permitted to move forward with the next stage of what undoubtedly will be a law-abiding and enriching life," his lawyer Albert Watkins told The Hill on Thursday.

At least 1,000 people have been charged in connection to the January 6 attack as part of “one of the largest, most complex and most resource-intensive investigations” in US history.

Another thousand charges could still come as a result of continuing investigations.

Updated: March 30, 2023, 8:26 PM