Saturday, September 30, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Saturday, September 30, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

‘QAnon shaman’ pleads guilty to felony charge for role in Capitol riot

Viral videos show Jacob Chansley wearing a horned headdress and face paint while storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

WASHINGTON (CN) — Jacob Anthony Chansley, who has called himself the “QAnon shaman,” pleaded guilty on Friday to felony obstruction of a congressional proceeding for his involvement in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. 

Chansley, a 33-year-old Arizona man, became a well-known face in the QAnon conspiracy movement after going viral for storming the Capitol carrying an American flag attached to a spear and wearing little more than a furry, horned headdress with his face painted red, white and blue. 

He was arrested two days after the riot and has been held without bond ever since. 

Chansley is one of about 600 people who have been arrested in connection to the insurrection attempt in January, when a crowd of pro-Trump rioters attempted to stop the congressional certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.

He was later charged with six federal crimes – two felonies and four misdemeanors.

Prosecutors said Friday that the government estimates a sentencing range of 41 to 51 months for Chansley following the obstruction guilty plea.

He has reportedly received mental examinations while in detention and was diagnosed by prison officials with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety.

Chansley previously identified himself as a follower of the QAnon conspiracy theory but his attorney, Albert Watkins, said in a recent statement that he no longer wished to be associated with the letter “Q.”

“The path charted by Mr. Chansley since January 6 has been a process, one which has involved pain, depression, solitary confinement, introspection, recognition of mental health vulnerabilities, and a coming to grips with the need for more self-work,” Watkins added.

Chansley's plea was entered during a virtual hearing in Washington federal court and was accepted by Senior U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth.

Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 17.

Follow Erika Williams on Twitter

Follow @@ErikaKate5
Categories / Criminal, Government, National, Politics

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.