During a teleconference earlier today (March 19), U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui ordered Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer to remain in jail without bond until he goes to trial for his involvement in the treasonous pro-Trump insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. The guitarist is currently being held at the Washington D.C. Jail.
While Faruqui agreed that Schaffer is not a flight risk, he choose to keep him in custody without bail, saying that he could be a danger to the community. According to WUSA9, his decision was influenced in part by comments Schaffer made during a November 2020 Trump Rally, in which he said “if somebody wants to bring violence, I think there’s a lot of us here that are ready for it.” The musician’s attorney argued that those comments were taken out of context and that he is aware that he used bad judgment. The lawyer also added that Schaffer had no prior record and that he wishes he could have a “do-over.” Despite these arguments, Faruqui stuck by his decision. This news comes after attorneys previously filed a motion to dismiss all of the charges against Schaffer on grounds of The Speedy Trial Act [18 U.S.C. § 3161(b)].
Before he was transported to Washington, D.C. by a U.S. marshal, Schaffer was being held at Marion County Jail in Indiana after being arrested on January 17. He made his first court appearance on January 18 and government lawyers asked a judge to deny him bail when he goes in front of the U.S. magistrate. If you missed it, here’s the initial statement that was issued by the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office:
“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.’”
The U.S. Department Of Justice also released a “Statement Of Facts,” which includes surveillance camera photos of Schaffer holding bear spray. It also mentioned that he was wearing a “Lifetime Member” hat from the anti-government militia group Oath Keepers. However, the Indiana Oath Keepers have since issued a statement saying he wasn’t a member of their group.
Schaffer is currently facing the following charges:
1) Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority
2) Disrupting the Orderly Conduct of Government Business
3) Knowingly Engaging in an Act of Physical Violence Against any Person or Property in any Restricted Building or Grounds
4) Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building
5) Engaging in an Act of Physical Violence in a Capitol Building
6) Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building