The advice of 51 months from the Justice Division, or simply over 4 years in jail, is the harshest one but for defendants tied to the riot. The one different felony Capitol riot defendant that has been sentenced up to now is Paul Hodgkins. The U.S. requested 18 months for Hodgkins, however he obtained an eight-month sentence as an alternative.
Hodgkins, initially from Florida, breached the Capitol with a backpack, goggles, rope, and white latex gloves readily available, and proceeded to barrel by means of to the ground of the Senate whereas hoisting a “Trump 2020” flag over his shoulder.
By the way, in the course of the assault, Hodgkins stood close by as Chansley led a bunch invocation, the place he prayed with fellow rioters.
“Thanks for permitting america of America to be reborn. Thanks for permitting us to eliminate the communists, the globalists, and the traitors inside our authorities,” he mentioned.
Notably, he additionally left an ominous observe on the dais within the Senate in the course of the assault studying, “It’s solely a matter of time. Justice is coming!”
Chansley fancied himself the “QAnon Shaman” when he was an avowed zealot for the QAnon conspiracy. That perception system is one he now claims to have divorced himself from utterly. His lawyer, Albert Watkins launched an announcement on Chansley’s behalf in September to the Huffington Publish saying that the “lengthy avowed and training shaman has repudiated the ‘Q’ beforehand assigned to him.”
“The street main as much as the occasions of January 6 traversed years,” Watkins mentioned in an announcement this fall. “The trail charted by Mr. Chansley since January 6 has been a course of, one which has concerned ache, melancholy, solitary confinement, introspection, recognition of psychological well being vulnerabilities, and a coming to grips with the necessity for extra self-work.”
Watkins, in response to the really useful 51- month sentence, defended Chansley as somebody affected by “psychological well being vulnerabilities” as evidenced, on the very least, he argued, by the publicity of his half-nude physique whereas the climate in Washington that morning was beneath 40 levels.
“His Shamanic chants have been additional indicia of psychological well being vulnerabilities. So too was the fast clip at which his broadly revealed post-Capitol entry speech was uttered. So too have been his gait and obvious Forrest Gump-like obliviousness an excessive amount of of the exercise and most of the actions of these surrounding him as he approached, entered, and traversed the Capitol,” Watkins mentioned. “The occasions that led Mr. Chansley to do what he did on January 6, 2021, antedate his presence within the Capitol. He was not an organizer. He was not a planner. He was not violent. He was not damaging. He was not a thief.”
Watkins additionally emphasised that Chansley’s unaddressed schizophrenia ought to be thought of by the court docket when rendering its ultimate determination.
“Mr. Chansley shouldn’t be a political prisoner. He doesn’t search to be labeled such. Slightly, this case is a few frail and susceptible human,” Watkins wrote.
Watkins didn’t provide a selected advice for sentencing, solely urging that or not it’s far lower than the prosecutor’s suggestion. The Arizona native has up to now spent 10 months in pre-trial detention.
Prosecutors, nonetheless, supplied a far more durable place on Chansley.
“The necessity for the sentence to offer particular deterrence to this explicit defendant additionally weighs closely in favor of a prolonged time period of incarceration. Though the defendant has now expressed regret and contrition, his media statements instantly after January 6 have been these of a person gloating over victory in battle,” U.S. attorneys wrote.
Chansley didn’t categorical regret upon leaving the Capitol or when going house, they argued.
“It got here when he realized he was in bother. It got here when he realized that giant numbers of Individuals and other people worldwide have been horrified at what occurred that day. It got here when he realized that he may go to jail for what he did,” the memo states.