Guitarist is 1st suspect to plead guilty in Capitol riot

Capitol Riots on January 6, 2021 (Photo: CBS News)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A heavy metal guitarist has become the first defendant to plead guilty to federal charges in connection with the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Jon Ryan Schaffer is the frontman of the band Iced Earth. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta said Friday he has agreed to cooperate with investigators in hopes of getting a lighter sentence, and the Justice Department will consider putting Schaffer in the federal witness security program.

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This signals that federal prosecutors see him as a valuable cooperator as they continue to investigate the militia groups and other extremists involved in the insurrection on Jan. 6 as Congress was meeting to certify President Joe Biden’s electoral win.

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