A Three Percenters militia associate has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison after joining a crowd of former President Donald Trump supporters to storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Guy Reffitt, of Wylie, Texas, was found guilty by a jury in March of five counts, including bringing a firearm onto Capitol grounds and obstructing official process.
US District Judge Dabney Friedrich handed down a prison sentence of seven years and three months – the longest to date for anyone involved in the riot.
She also banned Reffitt from associating with militia groups and ordered him to undergo mental health treatment.
Earlier Monday, the judge said she was disturbed by Reffitt’s actions and comments suggesting he wanted to overthrow Congress, calling his statements “chilling claims that border on delusional.”
“In a democracy, we respect a peaceful transfer of power,” she said.
“The election has been challenged in multiple courts across the country, and judge after judge, there is no basis to these claims.”
Ms. Friedrich declined to apply a domestic terrorism enhancement to her sentence — the first requested in a Jan. 6 case — even though the senior federal prosecutor and a former Capitol police officer who provided an impact statement on the victim both said they believed Reffitt had committed an act of terrorism. That day.
Reffitt “intended to harm members of Congress,” former Capitol Police officer Shauni Kerkhoff told the court, adding that she “watched in horror as he encouraged the angry mob to pass.” .
Reffitt, 49 at the time of his sentencing, never entered the Capitol, but video evidence showed him pushing the crowd and leading other rioters down a flight of stairs outside the building.
His trial included testimony from his estranged son Jackson, who brought his father to tears by telling the jury that his father threatened him if he dared to call the FBI.
“He said, ‘If you turn me in, you’re a traitor, and traitors get shot,'” Jackson Reffitt told jurors.
During his sentencing, prosecutors presented evidence showing that Reffitt intended to commit further acts of violence.
In an exchange of text messages, he told other militia members: “We have taken the capital of the United States of America and we will do it again.
A crowd of supporters of US President Donald Trump fight with members of law enforcement as they storm the US Capitol building in Washington DC. Source: Reuters
His daughter, Peyton, came to court crying as she told the judge: ‘As I know my father, he is not a threat to my family’, adding that his mental health ‘is a real issue “.
Jackson Reffitt also wrote a letter which was read aloud in court. “I hope to see my father use all the safety nets” available in prison, including mental health care, he added.
Prior to the sentencing announcement, Reffitt said in 2020 that he was “a bit too crazy” and openly apologized to police and his family.
“I don’t want anything to do with this stuff anymore. I don’t want anything to do with the militias anymore…I’m so sorry,” he said.
Reffitt was the first Capitol rioter to be tried in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
To date, federal prosecutors have secured convictions in all but one of the 13 trials related to the Capitol attack.