Sentencing Date for Iced Earth Guitarist Jon Schaffer Pushed Back to July

The sentencing date for Jon Schaffer, guitarist of the heavy metal band Iced Earth and member of the Oath Keepers, has been postponed to July. U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta recently filed paperwork, moving the date from April 5 to July 19. This is the second time the sentencing has been rescheduled, with the original date of February 20 being moved due to an undisclosed medical operation undergone by Schaffer.

Schaffer’s legal team had requested a September sentencing, citing a recent appeals court decision that could potentially overturn a sentencing enhancement used for those involved in the Capitol invasion on January 6, 2021. They also wanted to wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on a felony charge of obstructing an official proceeding, to which Schaffer had pleaded guilty. However, Judge Mehta did not agree to the request to wait for the Supreme Court’s ruling.

In addition to the obstruction charge, Schaffer had also pleaded guilty to “entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon” as part of a deal signed in April 2021. The obstruction charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, while the latter charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. Both charges can result in fines of up to $250,000.

The Department of Justice has stated that it will recommend a sentence between 41 and 51 months in prison, along with fines ranging from $15,000 to $250,000.

Jon Schaffer, the sole original founding member of Iced Earth, has been with the band since its formation 40 years ago. The band’s last five albums, including 2017’s “Incorruptible,” have charted in the Top 100 of Billboard’s albums chart. Schaffer also leads a side project called Sons of Liberty, which focuses on songs with political themes.

Schaffer’s involvement with the Oath Keepers became prominent when he participated in the “Million MAGA March” on November 14, 2020. During an interview at the march, he made concerning statements, promising “a lot of bloodshed” if the U.S. were to “merge into some globalist, communist system.”

On January 6, 2021, Schaffer was photographed entering the U.S. Capitol while holding what authorities identified as “bear spray,” a form of pepper spray. He was also seen wearing an “Oath Keepers Lifetime Member” hat, associating him with the group of ad-hoc militias that claim to uphold the U.S. Constitution. The founder of the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, was sentenced to 18 months in prison last year after being found guilty of running a seditious conspiracy in 2022.

Author: CrimeDoor

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