A far-right militia member from Texas who brought a gun to the US Capitol on Jan. 6 was sentenced to more than seven years in prison Monday – the stiffest punishment handed down so far in the hundreds of cases related to the riot.
Guy Reffitt, 49, became the first rioter convicted at trial in March, when a jury in Washington DC federal court found him guilty on all five of the felony charges he faced, including bringing a gun onto the Capitol grounds and obstructing an official proceeding.
Prosecutors wanted Reffitt — a member of the far-right “Texas Three Percenters” militia group — locked up for 15 years, writing in a court filing that he had indicated he planned to drag House Speaker Nancy Pelosi out of the Capitol building by her ankles, “with her head hitting every step on the way down.”
At his sentencing hearing Monday, Judge Dabney Friedrich said Reffitt wanted to overthrow Congress when he came to the nation’s capital that day with a holstered Smith & Wesson pistol, helmet and body armor.
Friedrich said Reffitt’s statements about the 2020 presidential election’s legitimacy were “frightening” and “border on delusional.”
“In democracy, we respect a peaceful transfer of power,” the judge said. “The election was challenged in multiple courts across the country, and judge after judge said there’s no merit to these claims.”
Reffitt didn’t enter the Capitol on Jan. 6, but egged on other members of the pro-Donald Trump mob that stormed the building in an attempt to stop the certification of President Biden’s victory.
After the siege, Reffitt warned his kids he’d shoot them if they turned him in, prosecutors alleged. Reffitt’s son testified at trial that his father threatened to kill him if he reported his crimes to the FBI.
“He said, ‘If you turn me in, you’re a traitor, and traitors get shot,’” Jackson Reffitt said.
At his sentencing, Reffitt apologized to his family and to law enforcement and said he went “a little too crazy” in the wake of the election.
“I want nothing to do with this stuff anymore. I want nothing to do with militia groups,” he said.
Reffitt, who already has been jailed for approximately 19 months, was sentenced to seven years and three months, followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution.
Prior to Monday’s sentencing, the stiffest penalties in Jan. 6 cases were given to two men who pleaded guilty to assaulting police officers during the riot. They were each given a little over five years.
More than 850 people have been charged in connection to the riot. Some 300 defendants have pleaded guilty to various crimes.
With Post Wires