Jacob Chansley, the "QAnon Shaman" whom prosecutors called the "public face" of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, was sentenced to 41 months in prison Wednesday.
Chansley pleaded guilty to a felony charge of obstructing an official proceeding. He was one of the first rioters to enter the Capitol building and the distinctive face paint and horns he wore during the events of that day feature prominently in pictures taken during the riot. Chansley admitted to using a bullhorn to rile up other rioters and to writing a threatening message to Vice President Mike Pence saying, "It's Only A Matter of Time. Justice Is Coming!"
While Chansley was never accused of violence, prosecutors argued that as "the public face of the Capitol riot" he needed to receive a harsh sentence for carrying a flagpole as a weapon, ignoring police orders to leave the building, and gloating about his actions after the riot had ended.
"What you did was terrible," Judge Royce Lamberth said at Chansley's sentencing hearing in federal court in Washington, D.C. Though lawyers for the defense had argued for leniency, the judge said Chansley's actions were so serious he could not "justify" a sentence lower than the minimum suggested by federal guidelines.
Chansley's sentence of 41 months in prison is tied for the longest sentence issued to date for any of the Capitol riot defendants who have pleaded guilty, according to CNBC News.
"I was wrong for entering the Capitol. I have no excuse. No excuse whatsoever," Chansley said. "The behavior is indefensible."
Speaking for himself before he was sentenced, Chansley cited Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and the Stephen King movie "The Shawshank Redemption" in comments expressing his remorse.
"I am truly, truly repentant of my actions," he said.
He denied being a violent man and "domestic terrorist" while admitting to his crime.
"I broke the law, and if I believe in freedom, and if I believe in law and order, and I believe in responsibility, then I should do what Gandhi would do, and take responsibility," Chansley said.
"I hope that you see my heart and my desire to live the life of Christ or Gandhi," Chansley he told the judge.
"I make this holy vow and this sacred oath, I will never re-offend again," he added.
Of the 650 people arrested for participating in the riot, more than 120 defendants have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanor charges punishable by no more than six months in prison.
Chansley and Scott Fairlamb, a New Jersey gym owner who last week was also sentenced to 41 months in prison for assaulting a police officer during the riot, have received the longest sentences so far.