Things aren't looking good for Iced Earth's Jon Schaffer. After turning himself into authorities in Indianapolis this past Sunday, Schaffer will remain in police custody through at least Friday, when he will have his bail hearings. Schaffer was arrested in Hamilton County, charged for his role in the Capitol insurrection on January 6. A new report suggests that government lawyers will push for Schaffer not to be granted bail.
“Government lawyers are asking the judge to not offer Schaffer a bond.” In the case of federal charges, such as the ones against Schaffer, the judge is not obligated to grant bail. According to an earlier WISH-TV report, in order to gain bail, Schaffer would have to prove to the judge that he’s not a threat to himself or others. The piece also noted that other accused Capitol rioters “have been given bail but told to stay away from Washington.”
The widely circulated photo of Schaffer shows him wearing an "Oath Keepers" hat. A new report from The New York Times today described the group as a "far-right militia-style organization founded by military and law enforcement veterans that professes to believe that a shadowy globalist cabal is plotting to take away Americans’ rights."
After reviewing video footage, federal authorities noticed "a group[dressed in paramilitary gear and Oath Keepers paraphernalia stood out for its coordination," which was the Oath Keepers. Three leaders of the group Edward Caldwell, 66, Donovan Crowl, 50, and Jessica Watkins, 38, were charged with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.
Schaffer is named in the article as being among the rioters who used bear spray, a more potent form of pepper spray, on Capitol police. The mention reads:
“A criminal complaint filed Saturday against Jon Ryan Schaffer, a guitarist for the heavy metal band Iced Earth, accused of being among rioters who sprayed Capitol Police with “bear spray,” said he has long held “far-right extremist views” and suggested that he is a member of the Oath Keepers.”
The New York Times article details the evidence government officials had obtained that point to the three organizing the raid, including audio recordings from the cellphone app Zello, a walkie-talkie like app, that shows Mrs. Watkins of saying "We have a good group. We have about 30-40 of us. We are sticking together and sticking to the plan.” An unknown male responded, “We’ll see you soon, Jess. Airborne.”
Messages circulated to the group in the weeks leading up to the insurrection included “some of our most skilled special warfare veterans standing by armed, just outside D.C.,” and “prepare yourselves for whatever may come. Prepare your mind, body, and spirit for battle, and above all else, prepare to STAND!”
The FBI has charged Schaffer with six different charges:
- Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority
- Disrupting the Orderly Conduct of Government Business
- Knowingly Engaging in an Act of Physical Violence Against any Person or Property in any Restricted Building or Grounds
- Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building
- Engaging in an Act of Physical Violence in a Capitol Building
- Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building
Schaffer is expected to go in front of U.S. magistrate, who could release him on bail.