Texas militia associate receives seven-year prison sentence for storming US Capitol

An associate of the far-right Three Percenters militia has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison after joining a mob of former Trump supporters in storming the US Capitol and threatening to harm his children if they told the FBI.

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.

On Monday local time, U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich handed down a prison sentence of seven years and three months — the longest yet for anyone involved in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot.

Judge Friedrich also banned Reffitt from associating with militia groups and ordered him to undergo mental health treatment.

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.”

    Artist's sketch of Guy Wesley Reffit and his lawyer speaking to him in court.
An artist’s sketch of Guy Wesley Reffitt, joined by his attorney William Welch, right, in federal court in Washington in February this year. (PA: Dana Coulting)

Judge Friedrich declined to apply a domestic terrorism enhancement to her sentence — the first requested in a Jan. 6 case — even though the lead federal prosecutor and a former Capitol police officer who provided a victim impact statement have 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.” .

However, 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.

Close-up of man's partial face.  He shouts into a crowd of pro-Trump rioters at the US Capitol in Washington
A crowd of supporters of former President Donald Trump storm the US Capitol building in Washington on January 6, 2021.(Reuters: Lea Millis)

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.

His daughter, Peyton, addressed the court.

“As I know my father, he is not a threat to my family,” she told the judge, crying.

Three women are seated around a table.
Nicole Reffitt with her daughters Peyton and Sarah. Nicole’s son, Jackson, informed authorities that his father, Guy, had participated in the Capitol riot.(ABC News: Mikon Haaksman)

She added that her mental health “is a real issue”.

Jackson Reffitt also wrote a letter which was read aloud in court.

He wrote that he hoped to see his father “use every safety net” available in prison, including mental health care.

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.


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