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Jon Schaffer pleads guilty to Capitol riot charges

Jon Schaffer
(Image credit: Roberto Schmidt/AFP)

Jon Schaffer has pleaded guilty to two charges relating to his involvement in the riots at the US Capitol in January.

As part of a plea deal struck with prosecutors, the Iced Earth guitarist pleaded 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. The first charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, while the second carries up to a 10-year prison term. He also admitted to carrying bear spray into the Capitol building during the riot on January 6.

Schaffer was originally charged with six offences, facing up to 30 years in prison. According to CNN, his attorneys and government prosecutors have recommended that he be sentenced to 3.5 to 4.5 years in prison.

Schaffer, who admitted to being a “founding lifetime member” of right wing group the Oath Keepers, is the first of the Capitol rioters to plead guilty as part of a plea deal.

No date has been set for his trial.