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‘QAnon Shaman,’ horned and face-painted ‘very image’ of Jan. 6 riot, released from federal prison to halfway house

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A protester screams "Freedom" inside the Senate chamber after the U.S. Capitol was breached by a mob during a joint session of Congress on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building during demonstrations in the nation's capital. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Jacob Anthony Chansley, the so-called ‘QAnon Shaman.’ (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Jacob Chansley, the so-called “QAnon Shaman” who became what a federal judge called the “very image” of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, has been moved from prison to a halfway house.

Chansley is one of the most memorable figures to emerge from the deadly riot at the Capitol, when former President Donald Trump supporters set siege to the Capitol building as Congress was set to certify Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral win. He was seen standing shirtless behind former Vice President Mike Pence’s Senate dais in a horned, coyote-fur headdress, and red, white and blue face paint, and was also heard yelling and praying as law enforcement tried to clear the chamber.

He was sentenced in November 2021 to more than three years in prison after pleading guilty in September of that year to obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress. He faced a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison on that charge.

Benjamin O’Cone, a spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, told Law&Crime that Chansley was transferred on Monday to “community confinement overseen” by the bureau’s Phoenix Residential Reentry Management (RRM) Office. That means Chansley is in “either home confinement or a Residential Reentry Center (RRC, or halfway house),” O’Cone said in an email.

“Mr. Chansley’s projected release date from custody is May 25, 2023, via First Step Act release,” O’Cone also said, referring to the Trump-era criminal justice reform legislation. Under the law, certain offenders have the opportunity to earn a potential early release for not only good behavior but for participating in classes and programs that prepare them for post-prison life.

O’Cone added that the BOP does not discuss “the conditions of confinement for any inmate, including transfers or release plans, nor do we specify an individual’s specific location while in community confinement.”

Attorney Albert Watkins, who represented Chansley for his plea and sentencing, said he is pleased with the development.

“After serving eleven months in solitary prior to his sentence being imposed, and only 16 months of his sentence thereafter, it is appropriate this gentle and intelligent young man be permitted to move forward with the next stage of what undoubtedly will be a law abiding and enriching life,” attorney Albert Watkins said in a statement. “I applaud the decision of the U.S. Bureau of Prison in this regard.”

The Justice Department declined to comment on Chansley’s release.

Law&Crime’s Adam Klasfeld contributed to this report.

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