Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer: Government Lawyers Ask Judge to Deny Bail
Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer will reportedly appear before a judge this Friday, January 22 — and he’ll be denied bail when he does, if prosecutors have their way.
Schaffer was arrested on Sunday for his role in the pro-Trump riots at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
According to new report by WISH-TV, “Government lawyers are asking the judge to not offer Schaffer a bond.” In the case of federal charges, such as the ones against Schaffer, the judge is not obligated to grant bail. According to an earlier WISH-TV report, in order to gain bail, Schaffer would have to prove to the judge that he’s not a threat to himself or others. The piece also noted that other accused Capitol rioters “have been given bail but told to stay away from Washington.”
You can watch the entire WISH-TV report at the bottom of this post.
A new article in The New York Times says that authorities believe Schaffer to be a member of an organized, far-right militia group known as the Oath Keepers, who planned the invasion of the Capitol building in advance. Founded by military and law enforcement veterans, the Oath Keepers believe that a shadowy globalist cabal is plotting to take away Americans’ rights. Schaffer was wearing an Oath Keepers hat in a widely circulated photo taken inside the Capitol and has expressed similar views in several interviews over the years.
Schaffer turned himself in to the authorities in his native Indiana on Sunday, January 17 after 11 days. The FBI Indianapolis Field Office indicated he faces 6 charges, including spraying Capitol police with ‘bear spray.’ The FBI issued the following statement:
“Jon Schaffer, Columbus, IN, has been arrested in connection to Jan 6 incident at the U.S. Capitol. Schaffer faces 6 charges including engaging in an act of physical violence in a Capitol building. Schaffer was allegedly among rioters who sprayed Capitol police with ‘bear spray.’”
Schaffer was also charged with “unlawful entry into restricted buildings or grounds,” which carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison that could rise to a maximum of 10 years if injuries or weapons were involved.
The full list of charges is as follows:
- “Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority”
- “Disrupting the Orderly Conduct of Government Business”
- “Knowingly Engages in an Act of Physical Violence Against any Person or Property in any Restricted Building or Grounds”
- “Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building”
- “Engage in an Act of Physical Violence in a Capitol Building”
- “Parade, Demonstrate, or Picket in a Capitol Building”
When word of his involvement in the Capitol riots spread, his bandmates issued a collective statement distancing themselves from the violence but stopped short of publicly disagreeing with his political views. Vocalist Stu Block indicated he supported the protests until they turned violent, and later deleted comments and banned fans who pointed that out.
A number of folks who donated to the Kickstarter campaign for an upcoming Iced Earth book publicly renounced their fandom and demanded refunds, posting angry comments on the book’s crowdfunding page.
The guitarist has been quite open about his far-right political views for years, openly discussing his mistrust of government (with a special emphasis on the federal reserve), asserting his belief that Trump’s loss in the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election was tipped by illegal immigrants, speaking out in favor of arming teachers to prevent school shootings, and claiming that Covid-19 is a hoax.