'QAnon Shaman' wants to withdraw his January 6th guilty plea because he thinks his lawyers screwed him

'QAnon Shaman' wants to withdraw his January 6th guilty plea because he thinks his lawyers screwed him
Jacob Chansley, dubbed 'The QAnon Shaman'/Channel 4 News screenshot

The Arizona man who proclaimed himself the “QAnon Shaman” while parading around inside the U.S. Capitol during the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection is attempting to get his plea deal thrown out.

Jacob Chansley, who instantly became one of the most recognizable figures in the riot because of his horned headdress and bare-chested display of body art, has hired two new attorneys and plans on petitioning the court to take the unusual step of letting him withdraw his plea of guilty to the felony count of obstruction of an official proceeding, according to WUSA9.

U.S. District June Royce Lamberth sentenced Chansley in November to 41 months in prison, at the time the longest sentence any defendant had received for participating in the riot.

"Less than two weeks after sentencing, though, attorneys John Pierce and William Shipley notified the court they would be replacing Watkins to pursue an appeal," according to the WUSA9 report. Pierce is a career civil attorney who briefly represented acquitted Kenosha, WI, shooter Kyle Rittenhouse. Shipley served for more than 20 years as a federal prosecutor. The two represent dozens of Jan. 6 defendants.

Shipley confirmed that they now intend to abandon the appeal and instead will try to convince Lamberth to allow Chansley's case to go back "square one."

“The remedy – IF successful – would be to vacate his conviction, and he would be back in the District Court as if he never pled guilty,” Shipley said.

Their argument is that Chansley received ineffective counsel from veteran Missouri attorney Albert Watkins leading up to the plea deal. But according to the non-profit Innocence Project the standard of proof for that gambit places an "extremely high burden" on defendants and almost never succeeds.


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