Schaffer sentencing postponed until August

File photo Jon Schaffer is facing six federal crimes for his alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection.

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has granted a request to postpone sentencing for the third time this year for a former Columbus resident who has pleaded guilty to storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta on Monday pushed back the sentencing hearing for former heavy metal musician and Columbus resident Jon Schaffer from July 19 to Aug. 2 because one of his attorneys “is scheduled to be out of the country,” according to filings in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

Marc Victor, an attorney representing former heavy metal musician and Columbus resident Jon Schaffer had asked the judge last week to delay Schaffer’s July 19 sentencing until August because Victor “is scheduled to be out of the country,” according to filings in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

Victor, who is part of Attorneys for Freedom Law Firm, claims in the filing that federal prosecutors do not object to delaying sentencing until after he returns from overseas.

It is not clear if the other attorney listed as representing Schaffer, Andrew Marcantel of Attorneys for Freedom Law Firm, will also be unavailable for the July hearing.

It is the third time that the hearing has been delayed this year. The hearing was originally scheduled for Feb. 20.

Earlier this month, Mehta agreed to push back Schaffer’s sentencing from April 5 to July 19.

Schaffer had asked the court to delay sentencing following a decision earlier this month by a federal appeals court to overturn a sentencing enhancement used to help determine another Jan. 6 defendant’s punishment.

The request earlier this month also came after the Supreme Court decided it would weigh in on the scope of the felony charge of obstructing an official proceeding — one of two charges that Schaffer pleaded guilty to in April 2021.

Last month, Mehta had denied a request to delay sentencing until after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision but agreed to postpone Schaffer’s Feb. 20 sentencing on medical grounds after the former Oath Keeper and former member of heavy metal band Iced Earth said in court filings that he might undergo an undisclosed medical procedure “with the need for a recovery afterwards.”

In December, the Supreme Court said it would hear an appeal challenging the scope of the obstruction of an official proceeding charge that has been brought against more than 300 people, including Schaffer and former President Donald Trump, The Associated Press reported. The charge, which carries up to 20 years behind bars, refers to the disruption of Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential election victory over Trump.

It is one of two charges that Schaffer pleaded guilty to. He also pleaded guilty to one count of entering and remaining in a restricted building or ground with a deadly or dangerous weapon.

The case that the Supreme Court will hear involves Joseph Fischer, a former Pennsylvania police officer, who is facing a seven-count indictment for his actions on Jan. 6, 2021, including the obstruction charge, and two other defendants, according to wire reports.

Earlier this month, a three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ordered a new sentence for a retired Air Force officer who stormed the U.S. Capitol dressed in combat gear, in a ruling issued that could impact dozens of other cases stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack, according to wire reports.

While the panel upheld Larry Brock’s conviction, the court said a judge wrongly applied an enhancement that lengthened the recommended prison sentence range under federal guidelines.

The enhancement — on the grounds that Brock’s conduct resulted in “substantial interference with the administration of justice” — has been applied in more than 100 other Jan. 6 defendants’ cases, according to wire reports.

About a week after the appellate court’s decision, Schaffer’s attorney, Marcantel, argued in a motion that the decision, as well as the Supreme Court’s decision to take up the obstruction charge, “have added complexity to the analysis of factors impacting sentencing” for the former heavy metal musician.

Schaffer’s motion states that Assistant U.S. Attorney Ahmed Baset “while not joining in the reasoning, does not object to this motion.”

The motion also states that Schaffer is “gainfully employed and compliant with all conditions of his release.”