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Death threats, flying feces and unwelcome golden showers made prison ‘hell’ for Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer, says lawyer

Ice Earth Jon S
(Image credit: ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

Iced Earth guitarist Jon Schaffer received death threats and was showered with feces and urine during his two month incarceration in Indiana’s Marion County Jail earlier this year, his lawyer has revealed.

Schaffer was arrested on January 17 after being photographed at the riots in Washington DC on January 6, when right-wing mobs stormed the US Capitol building to disrupt a vote confirming Joe Biden as the new President of the United States.

Schaffer originally faced six criminal charges related to the DC riots, but four charges were subsequently dropped after he pleaded guilty, on April 16, to two offences: obstruction of an official proceeding, and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon.

During Schaffer’s detention hearing in the US District Court, his lawyer, Marc J. Victor, told a federal judge that the guitarist had gone through “two months of hell” in the Indiana jail before his transfer, in mid-March, to the District Of Columbia, where the charges against him were filed.

“My client, who is presumed innocent, has just gone through two months of hell where other people were throwing feces at him and urine at him and threatening his life in a horrible, horrible situation,” Victor told the court.

“I think this got his attention, Judge,” Victor said, after telling judge Zia M. Faruqui that Schaffer had human shit and urine hurled at him. “He’s aware this is a serious case.” 

“That’s obviously unacceptable, flatly,” Faruqui told Victor. “I share your feelings of anger that this is not how our criminal justice system is to work.”  

Schaffer is currently on conditional release, after agreeing to co-operate with law enforcement agencies in their ongoing investigations into the January 6 insurrection. The guitarist’s sentencing date has not been made public, but during his April plea hearing federal Judge Amit P. Mehta said Schaffer could be imprisoned for 41 to 51 months for his crimes.