Defense attorney Clinton Broden asked for Reffitt to be sentenced to no more than two years in prison. Mr. Broden noted that Reffitt didn’t assault law enforcement officers or enter the Capitol building. Videos captured the confrontation between outnumbered Capitol police officers and a mob of people, including Reffitt, who approached them on the west side of the Capitol.
Reffitt was armed with a Smith & Wesson pistol in a holster on his waist, carrying zip-tie handcuffs and wearing body armor and a helmet equipped with a video camera when he advanced on the officers, according to prosecutors. Prosecutors said he retreated after an officer pepper sprayed him in the face, but he waved on other rioters who ultimately breached the building.
Reffitt didn’t testify at his trial before jurors convicted him in March of all five counts in his indictment. The jury found him guilty of obstructing Congress’ joint session, interfering with police officers outside the Capitol, and threatening his two teenage children if they reported him to law enforcement.
Reffitt’s 19-year-old son, Jackson, testified that his father told him and his sister, then 16, that they would be traitors if they reported him to authorities and warned them that “traitors get shot.” According to prosecutors, Guy Reffitt was a member of the Texas Three Percenters militia group.
Breaking News: The first defendant to go on trial in the Justice Department’s Capitol riot inquiry was sentenced to more than seven years in prison. https://t.co/d8SkUGhTqG
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 1, 2022
The Three Percenters movement refers to the myth that only 3% of Americans fought in the Revolutionary War against the British. Reffitt lived with his wife and children in Wylie, Texas, a Dallas suburb. He drove to Washington, D.C., with Rocky Hardie, a fellow militia group member.
Hardie testified that both were armed with handguns when they attended Mr. Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally before the riot. Hardie also said Reffitt gave him two pairs of zip-tie cuffs in case they needed to detain anybody. More than 840 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the riot.
Over 340 of them have pleaded guilty, primarily to misdemeanors. More than 220 have been sentenced, with nearly half receiving terms of imprisonment. Approximately 150 others have trial dates stretching into 2023. Reffitt is one of seven Capitol riot defendants to get a jury trial so far. Jurors have unanimously convicted all seven of them on all counts in their respective indictments.
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