A federal judge has ordered Iced Earth guitarist Jon Schaffer held without bond.
Schaffer allegedly took part in the storming of the U.S. Capitol by rioters on January 6. Photographs of the guitarist inside the Capitol building appeared on Twitter, where he was quickly identified. Schaffer, a resident of Columbus, Indiana, now faces a half dozen charges. An affidavit filed in the case alleges Schaffer was one of the people who used bear spray on officers during the riot.
Images included in the charging documents show Schaffer dressed in a tactical vest. He is also wearing a hat that reads, “Oath Keepers lifetime member.” Nine members of the Oath Keepers militia are now facing a conspiracy case for their participation in the riot. Jon Schaffer’s name is not one of them, however.
The FBI investigated Schaffer, finding that he previously identified himself as an anarchist. During the MAGA March in November, he spoke to reporters. “If somebody wants to bring violence, I think there’s a lot of us here that are ready for it,” he says in that interview.
Iced Earth has condemned guitarist Jon Schaffer’s participation in the U.S. Capitol riots.
After news broke on social media and Schaffer was identified, the band finally released a statement. “We hope that all those involved that day are brought to justice to be investigated and answer for their actions,” that statement reads in part.
Now that Schaffer is facing federal charges, he appears to be remorseful. His attorney argues that his comments made to reporters were taken out of context. He also argues that Schaffer knows he “used bad judgment” on January 6 and wishes his client had a “do-over.” The 52-year-old guitarist has no prior record, which his lawyer is using to say he poses no danger to the community.
Federal Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui has ruled against releasing the guitarist, however. She found that Schaffer doesn’t present a flight risk but does pose a danger to his community. Schaffer will now be held without bond until he faces his trial. No future trial date has been set for him.
Schaffer is the founding member of Iced Earth; the group’s singer and bassist left after the riots. The act was formed in 1985 in Tampa, Florida. The group released their first debut album in 1990 and have since released twelve studio albums. Currently, Jon Schaffer and Brent Smedley are the only remaining members.