ICED EARTH guitarist Jon Schaffer has entered a guilty plea for his role in the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building. As part of this plea deal, Schaffer is expected to enter into a cooperation agreement with the government.
Schaffer was initially charged with six crimes, including engaging in an act of physical violence and targeting police with bear spray, however it was knocked down 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.
During today’s hearing, a federal judge reportedly asked Schaffer if he understood he was “giving up” his “right to be presumed innocent” to which Schaffer replied that he understood and agreed.
The government said it was agreeing not to oppose Schaffer’s release during the sentencing phase.
The 53-year-old guitarist is the first Capitol riot defendant to reach a plea deal.