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Metal Guitarist Who Stormed Capitol With Bear Spray Will Be First Rioter To Plead Guilty

Jon Schaffer, a heavy metal guitarist who stormed the U.S. Capitol while wearing an Oath Keepers hat, said he plans to plead guilty on Friday, and will become the first known Capitol insurrectionist to reach a plea deal with the federal government.

Schaffer told a judge on Friday that he would enter a guilty plea. He’s charged with two counts, admitting that he “forcibly entered the Capitol to, and did, stop, delay, and hinder Congress’s certification of the Electoral College vote” while carrying “a deadly and dangerous weapon, that is, a [canister] of bear repellent capsaicin pepper spray, commonly referred to as ‘bear spray.’”

The details of the plea agreement were not immediately available. Judge Amit P. Mehta, who will accept Schaffer’s guilty plea, said the agreement included a cooperation component. 

Friday marks 100 days since the Capitol insurrection, and the Justice Department said that more than 410 defendants from at least 45 states have been arrested for participating. More than 100 defendants were charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding officers, while 35 were charged with doing so while using a deadly or dangerous weapon. More than 350 have been charged with entering or remaining in a restricted federal building or grounds, and over 160 defendants have been charged with corrupting obstructing an official proceeding.

There have also been more than 30 serious felony conspiracy cases brought against various defendants.

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