A US federal judge has ruled that Iced Earth guitarist Jon Schaffer must be held in jail without bail until the trial for his involvement in January’s US Capitol riots begins.
As reported by Indiana news station WUSA-9, the ruling was delivered during Schaffer’s bail hearing yesterday (March 19). Schaffer, who appeared at the hearing via videolink, is facing six charges for his involvement in the insurrection, including engaging in a violent act while at the Capitol building for allegedly bear spraying a police officer.
His attorney, Marc Victor, argued that the guitarist admitted he’d “used bad judgement” by attending the riots and wished he had a “do-over”. He said his client had no prior convictions and posed no danger to the community.
However, Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui was firm on his decision, citing Schaffer’s comments to a reporter during a Make America Great Again rally last year, at which the musican said: “If somebody wants to bring violence, I think there’s a lot of us here that are ready for it.”
Victor argued that this statement had been taken out of context, but it didn’t sway the ruling, with Faruqui determining Schaffer to be a threat to the community.
Schaffer was arrested on January 18 for his involvement in the Capitol insurrection, after he was identified in photos from the riots. His Iced Earth bandmates later denounced his actions, saying: “We absolutely DO NOT condone nor do we support riots.
“We hope that all those involved that day are brought to justice to be investigated and answer for their actions.”
Not long after, the band’s vocalist Stu Block and bassist Luke Appleton announced on their respective social media pages that they were leaving the outfit.
In addition to the photos of Schaffer at the insurrection, video footage obtained by CNN last month showed the guitarist among a throng of rioters charging at police officers.