'QAnon Shaman' Sentenced To 41 Months In Prison For Jan. 6 Involvement

Jacob Chansley, the so-called "QAnon Shaman," got about a year less than prosecutors wanted.
Posted at 8:23 PM, Nov 17, 2021

The so-called "QAnon Shaman" in the U.S. Capitol insurrection has been sentenced to 41 months in prison — about a year less than prosecutors wanted.

Jacob Chansley, 34, stood out among the rioters on Jan. 6. — he was shirtless, with furs, horns, and face paint, brandishing a handmade spear.

Prosecutors labeled him "the flag-bearer" of the attack and argued for a maximum prison sentence of 51 months.

Authorities arrested him in his home state of Arizona three days after the riot, and he's been in custody ever since. 

At the courthouse Wednesday, Chansley said he was wrong for entering the Capitol and had no excuse. He previously pleaded guilty to a felony charge of obstructing Congress from counting electoral votes after the 2020 election.

He has already spent 317 days in solitary confinement — time that lawyer Albert Watkins tells Newsy was mentally damaging. He says Chansley only learned of a 2006 personality disorder diagnosis by the Navy during this trial.

"Our government, our Department of Justice, our Bureau of Prisons are wholly unarmed to deal with the reality that mental health issues are at play," Defense Attorney Albert Watkins said. "This is further evidence and indicia that the government simply is unwilling to step back from the optics here and identify really who each and every defendant is. They seek solely to label each and every one of them under one moniker, and it doesn't work."

His lawyer says Chansley is getting help and will leave behind QAnon, but some say this sentence could galvanize followers of the conspiracy theory.

"Today's sentencing of Jacob Chansley is going to serve as another brick in the wall for the persecution complex that QAnon believers have," conspiracy theory researcher Mike Rothschild said. "These people think everyone is out to get them. They think the government is holding January 6th insurrectionists as political prisoners and that this guy is being made an example of, and he's really just a harmless organic food lover who wandered into the wrong place at the wrong time."

More than 600 rioters were arrested after the insurrection and still await sentences.