Capitol Riot: Jacob Chansley, so-called 'QAnon Shaman,' reportedly released from halfway house
PHOENIX - The man known as the so-called "QAnon Shaman" has reportedly been released from a halfway house.
The man, whose name is Jacob Chansley, took part in the deadly Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. According to a report in March 2023, Chansley, whose known for the horned costume he wore during the Capitol Riot, was released from prison into a halfway house.
Now, Chansley's stint at the halfway house appears to be over.
"One small step for this man, and one GIANT leap for all mankind..." read a tweet reportedly made by Chansley on a Twitter account.
According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website, Chansley was released from custody on May 25. Chansley's release from custody happened on the same day the founder of the Oath Keepers extremist group was sentenced to 18 yeas in prison for seditious conspiracy in connection with the Capitol Riot.
Chansley previously claimed his behavior was ‘indefensible’
According to a report in 2021, Chansley, who was carrying a spear during the Capitol Riot and whose horned fur hat, bare chest and face paint made him one of the more recognizable figures in the insurrection, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of obstructing an official proceeding, was sentenced to 41 months in prison.
Prosecutors had previously recommended that Chansley receive a 51-month sentence for his role in the insurrection.
In an interview in 2021, Chansley's mother, Martha Chansley, said she did not expect her son's trip to support Former President Donald Trump would turn into what eventually happened.
"You become a little flabbergasted, I suppose. I never expected that. He never expected that. He just was going there to support Trump like everyone else and then was going to come home," she explained.
Though he was not accused of violence, prosecutors said Chansley was the "public face of the Capitol riot" who went into the attack with a weapon, ignored repeated police orders to leave the building and gloated about his actions in the days immediately after the attack.
Before he was sentenced, Chansley told U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth it was wrong for him to enter the Capitol and that he accepts responsibility for his actions. He emphasized he wasn’t an insurrectionist and is troubled with the way he was portrayed in news stories in the aftermath of the riot.
"I have no excuse," Chansley said. "No excuses whatsoever. My behavior is indefensible."
The judge said Chansley’s remorse appeared to be genuine but noted the seriousness of his actions in the Capitol. "What you did was terrible," Judge Lamberth said. "You made yourself the center of the riot."
Chansley staged hunger strike while in jail, prior to sentencing
During his time behind bars prior to his sentencing, Chansley staged a multi-day hunger strike because prison officials did not provide him with organic food. Organic food was not served at the jail he was housed in.
Chansley's requests for organic food were denied by officials with the District of Columbia Department of Corrections, noting that he did not identify his faith or belief upon entering a DC DOC institution and that the department's Religious Services was "unable to find any religious merit pertaining to organic food or diet under Shamanism Practitioner." A judge, however, eventually ordered corrections authorities to provide organic food to Chansley.
Chansley was one of at least two people with current or former ties to Arizona who took part in the insurrection. Another participant of the Capitol Riot, ex-Olympic athlete Klete Keller, graduated from a Phoenix-area high school in 2000. He pleaded guilty in September 2021 to Obstruction of Congress as part of a plea agreement. A sentencing date has not yet been set for Keller.