Iced Earth guitarist Jon Schaffer has seemingly gone M.I.A.
According to The Republic, the District Of Columbia has been sending process servers and private investigators to inform him of the lawsuit filed regarding his actions at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 to no avail. There have reportedly been at least 25 attempts at seven different locations in three different states over the last few months.
The District of Columbia had also approached the Department of Justice, who are involved in an ongoing criminal case against Schaffer, for information on his whereabouts. However, as of June 30, the U.S. Attorney’s Office had not provided any help.
It is currently thought that Schaffer is residing at a mobile home in Auburndale, Florida, as a process server found a callbox with the name “J. Schaffer” written on it and two cars with Indiana license plates parked outside.
Says the court filing, “The District now believes that Schaffer is hiding from process servers in a mobile home in Auburndale, Florida. Since locating that address, the District has attempted service there at least five times, yet Schaffer refuses to answer the door-thereby preventing effective service absent further relief from the court.”
One of 31 members of extremist groups the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, Schaffer is part of a lawsuit filed in Washington D.C. federal court accusing those groups of “consipring to terrorize the district” in “a coordinated act of domestic terrorism. The suit intends to recoup the millions of dollars spent to defend the Capitol.
Said D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine to The Washington Post in December, “I think the damages are substantial. If it so happens that it bankrupts or puts these individuals & entities in financial peril, so be it.”
A trial for five Oath Keepers, including leader Stewart Rhodes, began on Monday (10/3). On Friday, a judge temporarily halted the civil suit until this criminal trial has concluded.
Schaffer, who had attested to being “a founding, lifetime member of the Oath Keepers,” had already been charged and indicted for his involvement in the insurrection by the U.S. Department of Justice. Originally charged with six crimes, he pleaded guilty to two, including “obstruction of an official proceeding of congress” and trespassing on restricted grounds of the Capitol while armed with a deadly or dangerous weapon.” In his plea deal, Schaffer agreed to cooperate with the investigation and potentially testify in related cases, in exchange for potential leniency when being sentenced.
On January 6, 2021, Schaffer was photographed breaching the Capitol building wearing a tactical vest and carrying bear spray.
Following news of his involvement in the attack on the Capitol, Schaffer’s Iced Earth bandmates Stu Block and Luke Appletom resigned from the group. Similarly, Hansi Kursch ended his partnership with Schaffer in the duo Demons & Wizards. Century Media, the label that released music from Iced Earth and Demons & Wizards, dropped both projects from its artist roster.