The Journal Gazette
Saturday, July 31, 2021 1:00 am

Tough times for alleged insurrectionist

EDITORIAL BOARD | The Journal Gazette

Things haven't been easy for Jon Schaffer since he was arrested for taking part in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

In fact, a lawyer for the former Fort Wayne resident said his client spent “two months of hell” inside the Marion County Jail after being taken into custody Jan. 17 by police in Noblesville.

“My client, who is presumed innocent, has just gone through two months of hell where other people were throwing feces at him and urine at him and threatening his life in a horrible, horrible situation,” Marc J. Victor told a federal judge during a detention hearing in March, according to the Indianapolis Star.

The newspaper obtained jail incident reports showing the heavy metal guitarist who attended Northrop High School was held in “administrative segregation,” away from the general population. He was removed from his cell March 7 after telling guards he “was in fear for his personal safety” and later told jailers three inmates threatened to kill him, the Star reported.

It's not clear why Schaffer was targeted, but his lawyer reportedly told the judge it might have been because of his role in the deadly riot, during which a mob disrupted a vote to certify Joe Biden's election as president.

Schaffer was the first defendant to plead guilty – to obstruction of an official proceeding and to entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon – in the attack on the Capitol. He has not been sentenced, but a plea agreement filed in April says punishment could range from 41 to 51 months behind bars.

“He was there for about 60 seconds, judge,” Victor said, according to a July 23 Star story. “He walked in, felt somebody tug at his pepper spray, and because he didn't want it to be stolen from him, that's the reason he took it out and – and held it in his hand.”

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