Guitarist Jon Schaffer (Iced Earth) has pleaded guilty for his role in the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. As part of the plea deal, he has entered into a cooperation agreement with the government.
Although Schaffer was initially charged with six crimes, including engaging in an act of physical violence and targeting police with bear spray, he pleaded guilty to only two charges: obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress; and trespassing on restricted grounds of the Capitol while armed with a deadly or dangerous weapon. The first charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, while the second carries up to a 10-year prison term.
According to CNN, prosecutors and Schaffer‘s attorneys agreed to recommend that he get between three and a half and four and a half years in prison, based on how fruitful his cooperation is with the government.
During today’s hearing, a federal judge asked Schaffer if he understood he was “giving up” his “right to be presumed innocent,” according to WUSA9. Schaffer said he understood and agreed.
U.S. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta asked: “Are you pleading guilty, Mr. Schaffer, because you are in fact guilty, sir?”
Schaffer said: “Yes, sir.”