Arizona horned rioter ordered to receive mental health evaluation

May 22, 2021, 11:54 AM

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)...

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

PHOENIX — On Friday, a federal judge ordered a mental health evaluation for Jacob Chansley, the Arizona man known as the “QAnon Shaman,” who has pleaded not guilty to felony charges of civil disorder and obstructing an official proceeding, plus four other misdemeanor charges.

Chansley’s lawyer claims he has mentally suffered since his imprisonment due to Asperger’s syndrome, which could play a factor in the case.

His lawyer, Albert Watkins, has already attempted to grant a pretrial release based on Chansley’s dietary needs.

Watkins, who defends several other clients who were charged due to their involvement with the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, told Talking Points Memo that many of the defendants he represents were “short-bus people.”

Legal analysts believe the mental health evaluations and claims that the rioters were influenced by former President Donald Trump are ploys to either bring more attention to the cases or earn clients lesser sentences.

In March, Judge Royce Lamberth said Jacob Chansley didn’t fully appreciate the severity of the charges against and found none of Chansley’s “many attempts to manipulate the evidence and minimize the seriousness of his actions” to be persuasive.

He ruled that Chansley would remain jailed until his trial.

Chansley unsuccessfully sought a pardon from Trump. He has since expressed disappointment in Trump, though he also said he doesn’t regret being loyal to the former president.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Arizona horned rioter ordered to receive mental health evaluation