Iced Earth guitarist Jon Schaffer has been wrapped up in a ton of controversy this year due to his involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. Now, according to Blabbermouth, Schaffer has claimed that he has been through “hell” in jail.
Schaffer was arrested on Jan. 17 in Noblesville, IN and was placed in “Administrative Segregation” due to his high-profile status. This meant that he had no contact with other inmates during his time in his cell or during outdoor activities. A spokesperson for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office has said that Schaffer has never been taken out of administrative segregation. Despite this, Schaffer’s lawyer claims that he was subjected to death threats and assaulted while in jail.
During Schaffer’s detention hearing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in March, his attorney Marc J. Victor stated his case in front of a federal judge. “My client, who is presumed innocent, has just gone through two months of hell where other people were throwing feces at him and urine at him and threatening his life in a horrible, horrible situation,” Victor said. “Shame on us, Judge, that this is happening in our justice system.”
According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Schaffer was removed from his cellblock on March 7 due to his claims of being “in fear for his personal safety.” Cited were problems Schaffer allegedly had with a specific inmate, which he informed the deputy about. The day after being removed from that cellblock, Schaffer claimed that three inmates, including the same one mentioned in the March 7 report, were allegedly giving him death threats.
Schaffer was originally faced with six charges following the insurrection at the Capitol in January. In March, he requested that all charges against him be dropped, but was deemed a “potential threat to the community” by a judge and remained in custody.
Schaffer pleaded guilty in April for two of his six charges: obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress; and trespassing on restricted grounds of the Capitol while armed with a deadly or dangerous weapon. The first charge is punishable by up to a possible 20 years in prison, and the second up to 10 years in prison.
As part of his plea negotiations, Schaffer entered a cooperation agreement with the government. He has agreed to cooperate with investigators and to testify in related criminal cases. Schaffer’s attorneys agreed to recommend somewhere between three-and-a-half years to four-and-a-half years in prison, which is based on how helpful his cooperation with the government ends up being.
The Justice Department has offered to sponsor Schaffer for the witness protection program as part of the plea agreement.
In February, Iced Earth singer Stu Block and bassist Luke Appleton both quit the band after Schaffer’s arrest.