Iced Earth's Jon Schaffer first to plead guilty to Capitol Riot charges, will turn informant

Iced Earth's Jon Schaffer has pled guilty to charges stemming from his involvement in the January 6 Capitol riot. In fact, he was the first rioter to plead guilty.

Schaeffer was originally charged with six counts, but as per a plead deal, he has pled guilty to two charges: obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress and trespassing on restricted grounds of the Capitol while armed with a deadly or dangerous weapon. Both charges are felonies and can lead to sentences of 20 and 10 years, respectively. Schaffer’s attorneys and government prosecutors have recommended that he be sentenced to 3.5 to 4.5 years in prison.

As part of the deal, Schaeffer will also cooperate with prosecutors and provide information about far right wing entity involvement in the attack.

As per documents filed with the plea deal, "Schaffer was among the first six individuals to push past the damaged doors and into the building, forcing the officers to retreat. As the mob swelled inside, and officers were being assaulted, Schaffer and other members of the mob continued to advance while aggressively gesturing toward a row of five to six backpedaling officers trying to maintain a security line in front of them. The officers' effort quickly failed as Schaffer and the rest of the mob overwhelmed the officers, who ultimately deployed a chemical irritant to disperse the mob." Schaeffer also admits that he is a "founding lifetime member" of the right-wing paramilitary group the Oath Keepers and that he "admits his belief that the Electoral College results were fraudulent is not a legal justification" for attacking the Capitol.

Since these events, all members of Iced Earth have quit except Shaeffer and drummer Brent Smedley.