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Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer was pepper sprayed by police during Capitol riots

Jon Schaffer
(Image credit: Roberto Schmidt/AFP)

The Iced Earth guitarist and would-be destroyer of Big Government became the first person to strike a deal with federal authorities, pleading guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress and Trespassing on restricted grounds of the Capitol while armed with a deadly or dangerous weapon.

According to a District Of Columbia Court Statement Of Offense signed by Schaffer and dated April 15, the guitarist “participated in the January 6 attack by unlawfully entering the Capitol building, wearing a protective vest and armed with bear spray, intending to stop or delay the Congressional proceeding.”

The document detailed that Schaffer - described as “a founding lifetime member of the Oath Keepers,” referring to the far right quasi-militia group – was part of a mob that broke into the Capitol Building and overwhelmed police officers. Officers then used a “chemical irritant” to disperse the mob.

The statement adds: “Schaffer was among those who were sprayed in the face by the irritant. He thereafter exited the building, with his unholstered bear spray now in hand, through the same doors that he had entered through approximately nine minutes earlier.”

Schaffer spent three months in jail, before being released on bail. His bail conditions include submitting to court supervision in his home state of Indiana, surrendering his passport and travel documents, being from Washington DC unless it relates to his trial, and being banned from possessing legal or illegal firearms and explosive devices.

The two charges he has pleaded guilty to are punishable by a maximum of 30 in prison in total, though CNN reports that Schaffer’s defense team and prosecutors have agreed to recommend between 3.5 and 4.5 years.