The 'QAnon Shaman' is in plea negotiations after being diagnosed with mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, report says

·2 min read
qanon shaman jacob chansley
Jacob Chansley, also known as the "QAnon Shaman," at the "Stop the Steal" rally in Washington, DC, on January 6. Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images
  • The Capitol-riot suspect known as "QAnon Shaman" is in plea negotiations, his lawyer told Reuters.

  • The negotiations come after Jacob Chansley was diagnosed with mental illnesses while in prison.

  • Chansley, pictured in horns and fur on January 6, was one of the most visible people at the riot.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The Capitol-riot suspect known as the "QAnon Shaman" is in plea negotiations after being diagnosed with mental illnesses while in prison, his attorney told Reuters on Thursday.

Jacob Chansley became one of the most visible people from the January 6 attack, when he was pictured inside the chambers of Congress shirtless, wearing a fur headdress with horns and red, white, and blue face paint. He was arrested in January on six charges, including disorderly conduct and violent entry. He has denied the charges.

Insider's Tom Porter reported in June that Chansley was ordered to undergo a psychological test while in prison in order to establish whether he was mentally competent enough to understand the legal case against him and stand trial.

Read more: Meet the 7 US federal judges who have had past brushes with Trump and are now helping to decide the Capitol rioters' fate

His lawyer, Albert Watkins, told Reuters that the Federal Bureau of Prisons had diagnosed Chansley with transient schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety. But, he said, the agency did not determine that Chansley was mentally incompetent.

Watkins said the Bureau of Prisons' evaluation also found that Chansley's mental health had declined while he was kept in solitary confinement in a Virginia jail.

Chansley is now seeking a plea deal, in which he could plead guilty to a less serious charge in hopes of receiving a lighter sentence, Reuters reported.

His lawyer also said Chansley has experienced some delusions, such as believing he was related to Jesus and the Buddha. His lawyer added that Chansley was an "unarmed, harmless, peaceful" person with "a pre-existing mental vulnerability of significance."

Chansley is one of at least 500 people who have been arrested in the storming of the Capitol, when a mob of President Donald Trump's supporters attacked and overpowered police officers and forced lawmakers to evacuate.

Prior to January 6, Chansley was known as a supporter of and influencer in the QAnon conspiracy-theory movement.

Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

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