Tuesday saw the end of the first federal criminal trial for Jan. 6 Capitol rioter. A Texas man brought weapons and ammunition to Congress’s deadly siege.
Guy Reffitt, 49, was found guilty of five felonies: obstructing an official proceeding, interfering with police in a riot, transporting a firearm for that purpose, witness tampering and armed trespassing. After three days of testimony, the jury deliberated for nearly four hours before convicting him.
Federal prosecutors have filed over 700 cases against people who were involved in the brutal assault on Jan. 6, 2021.
Jackson, Jackson’s teenage son, was one of the witnesses against Reffitt. Jackson testified that his father threatened Jackson after Jackson confronted him about his decision to join rioters.
“He said, ‘If you turn me in, you’re a traitor, and traitors get shot,’”Jackson Reffitt spoke to the jury last week, while his father was in the courtroom.
Prosecutors called Reffitt a right-wing extremist with the intent to attack the Capitol.
“On January 6th, 2021, Guy Reffitt challenged the police at the head of a vigilante mob determined to break into the United States Capitol,”U.S. attorney Risa Berkower said Monday in closing arguments. “He did this because he wanted to take out Congress, and an angry, energized crowd gave him his best shot,” Berkower said.
Reffitt “lighted that crowd into an unstoppable force” that overpowered officers making a “last stand” at Senate doors, the prosecutor said. The vice president and Congress members were evacuated as rioters broke into the Capitol, breaking windows, attacking police and knocking down doors as they rampaged through halls, offices and the Senate and House chambers.
Prosecutors also played video clips from Reffiitt’s 360-degree camera mounted on his helmet at the Capitol.
“We will take the Capitol before the day ends.” Reffitt was heard saying on the video. “Ripping them out by their hair — every f***ing one of them.”
Referring to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Reffit said, “Pelosi’s coming out on her f***ing ears, dragging that b***h out hard core.”
Jackson Reffitt (19 years old) testified that he reported his father to FBI.
Jackson said his dad belonged to the Texas Three Percenters, a state militia group linked to the gun-rights movement. His father frequently wore a .40-caliber pistol on his hip as he went about daily life, the son said on the witness stand.
William Welch, the defense attorney, said that Reffitt was prone to exaggeration. Reffitt never entered the Capitol and did not commit violence or cause property damage.
“Guy Reffitt never put his hands on anyone. Never threw anything at anyone. Never hit anyone with anything,”Monday, Welch informed jurors.
“Guy Reffitt exaggerates,”Welch spoke to the panel. “A lot.”
Reffitt is facing a maximum sentence in excess of 60 years. His sentencing was set for June 8.