Arizona native Jacob Chansley, best known as the “QAnon Shaman,” was sentenced to 41 months in prison on Wednesday for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
While handing down the sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth described Chansley, whose fur, face paint, and horned attire drew widespread attention, as the “epitome of the riot.”
The sentence is ten months less than what prosecutors sought.
“What you did was horrific, obstructing the functioning of the government. What you did was terrible,” Lamberth said. “You made yourself the epitome of the riot.”
Chansley, who had pleaded guilty to a single count of felony obstruction of an official proceeding in September, was one of hundreds of supporters of former President Donald Trump to storm the Capitol over the false belief that the 2020 election had been fraudulent.
Specifically, Chansley was one of the first to enter the Capitol and the Senate gallery, where he was filmed shouting from the chamber’s dais. A note left by Chansley also menacingly read: “It’s Only A Matter of Time. Justice Is Coming!”
Prior to his sentencing, Chansley described himself as “truly repentant” before pushing back on claims that he was violent or held white supremacist beliefs.
“I admit to the world, I was wrong. I have no excuses,” he said. “My behavior was indefensible.”
Prosecutors, however, pointed to posts from Chansley on social media prior to Jan. 6 as evidence of his extremist beliefs.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Paschall argued that Chansley had made a “call to battle” after posting “vitriolic messages” that encouraged “his thousands of followers to expose corrupt politicians, to ID the traitors in the government, to halt their agenda, to stop the steal, and end the deep state.”
Defense attorney Albert Watkins stated that Chansley’s behavior was attributable to mental health issues.
“He was not an organizer. He was not a planner. He was not violent. He was not destructive. He was not a thief,” Watkins said.
Chansley is just one of at least 650 people to be charged for their involvement in the Capitol riot.
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