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‘QAnon Shaman’ Mental Illness Diagnosis, in Plea Negotiations: Report


  • Capitol riot suspect known as “QAnon Shaman” is in plea negotiations, his lawyer told Reuters.
  • The negotiations come after Jacob Chansley was diagnosed with several mental illnesses while in prison.
  • Chansley, pictured in horns and fur on January 6, was one of the most visible people at the riot.

The Capitol riot suspect known as the “QAnon Shaman” is in plea negotiations after being diagnosed with several mental illnesses while in prison, his attorney told Reuters Thursday.

Jacob Chansley became one of the most visible people from the January 6 attack, when he was pictured inside the chambers of Congress shirtless, wearing a fur headdress with horns, and red, white, and blue face paint. He was arrested in January on six charges, including disorderly conduct and violent entry. He has denied the charges.

Insider’s Tom Porter reported in June that Chansley was ordered to undergo a psychological test while in prison in order to establish if he was mentally competent enough to understand the legal case against him and stand trial. 

Read more: Meet the 7 US federal judges who have had past brushes with Trump and are now helping to decide the Capitol rioters’ fate

His lawyer, Albert Watkins, told Reuters that the federal Bureau of Prisons had diagnosed Chansley with transient schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety. However, he said the agency did not determine he was mentally incompetent.

Watkins said the Bureau of Prions evaluation also found Chansley’s mental health had declined while he was kept in solitary confinement in a Virginia jail.

Chansley is now seeking a plea deal, in which he could plead guilty to a less serious charge in hopes of receiving a lighter sentence, Reuters reported.

His lawyer also said Chansley has experienced some delusions, such as believing he was related to Jesus and the Buddha, and said he was an “unarmed, harmless, peaceful” person with “a pre-existing mental vulnerability of significance.”

Chansley is one of at least 500 people who have been arrested in the storming of the Capitol, when a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters attacked and overpowered police officers and forced lawmakers to evacuate.

Prior to January 6, Chansley was known as a supporter and influencer in the QAnon conspiracy theory movement.

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