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Capitol rioter Guy Reffitt gets longest Jan. 6 sentence, but no terrorism enhancement

WASHINGTON A Donald Trump fan from Texas who tried to storm the U.S. Capitol while armed with a gun was sentenced to a lot more than 7 years in prison on Monday following a judge denied the Justice Department’s obtain a “terrorism enhancement” that could have led to a lengthier prison sentence.

Guy Reffitt was the initial Jan. 6 defendant to visit trial. Reffitt’s own son actually tipped off the FBI a month or more before Jan. 6 but didn’t hear back until following the attack. The federal government had a massive quantity of evidence against Reffitt, including his friend’s testimony that Reffitt was carrying zip ties and that the duo had determined to transport guns because they’d rather be “tried by way of a jury of 12 than carried by six.”

Reffitt was convicted on five counts in March, including transport of a firearm to get civil disorder and obstruction of the official proceeding, although he didn’t make it in the Capitol or use assault because he was eventually incapacitated after charging the authorities line.

Judge Dabney L. Friedrich, sentenced Reffitt to 87 months in prison, 3 years of probation, $2,000 in restitution, and mandatory mental health treatment.

Under no legitimate definition of the word patriot does Mr. Reffitts behavior on and around January 6 fit the word,” Friedrich said.

What Reffitt among others did that day was the antithesis of patriotism, Friedrich said.

Guy Reffitt
Guy Reffitt sits close to his lawyer William Welch, right, in Federal Court in Washington on Feb. 28, 2022.Dana Verkourteren / AP file

In court Monday, Reffitt described himself as “a f—ing idiot” and had not been thinking clearly” when he tried to storm the U.S. Capitol.

I clearly f—ed up, Reffitt said.

I did so desire to definitely make an apology, multiple apologies really, and accept my responsibility because I really do hate what I did so,” he said.

Reffitt, who was simply an associate of the Texas III%ers, told the judge he no longer desire to keep company with militia groups or or any stupid s— like this.

Friedrich, a Trump appointee and a former person in the U.S. Sentencing Commission, said that giving Reffitt a sentencing enhancement to carry a gun through the commission of a crime and for committing a crime of domestic terrorism would develop a sentencing disparity with other Jan. 6 defendants.

There are a great number of cases where defendants committed very violent assaults and also possessed weapons … that didn’t receive this departure, Freidrich said.

Prosecutors had argued that the upward departure for terrorism was warranted because Reffitt was likely to overtake our government.

He wasnt done, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Nestler said. Jan. 6 was the preface.

We do think that what he was doing that day was terrorism, we do believe he could be a domestic terrorist,” Nestler continued.

Reffitt wore a camera on his body that recorded his violent rhetoric through the Trump rally that preceded the riot.

Defendant Guy Reffitt at the Capitol.
Guy Reffitt at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.U.S. District Court for D.C.

Im taking the Capitol with everybody f—ing else, Guy Reffitt said in their own recording, as Tiny Dancer played at Trumps Jan. 6 rally. Were all likely to drag them motherf—ers out kicking and screaming, I dont provide a s—. I simply desire to see Pelosis head hit every f—ing stair along the way out, and Mitch McConnell too, f— em all… Its time and energy to take our country back… I believe we’ve the numbers to create it happen.

He also recorded a Zoom meeting on his computer where he talked extensively about his actions on Jan. 6.

Nestler had argued Monday that Reffitt “is in a class simply by himself,” but Freidrich said she was “not sure I buy into the government on that” given what other Jan. 6 defendants said similar things.

This defendant has some frightening claims that border on delusional, plus they are extraordinarily concerning for the court, Freidrich said. But other defendants did too. Thats the idea Im attempting to make.

Under Friedrich’s rulings, minus the sentencing enhancements, Reffitt’s sentence guidelines were 87 to 108 months in federal prison.

Prosecutors argued during his trial in March that Reffitt lit the match on the west side of the Capitol on Jan. 6, leading the mob up towards the Capitol building where rioters broke in.

He was ecstatic in what he did, in what the mob did, a federal prosecutor told jurors. Back in Texas, he thought he’s got gotten away with it.

Matthew Graves, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said Monday’s sentence held Reffitt in charge of his violent, unconscionable conduct and said Reffitts behavior contributed to the countless assaults on police officers that day, putting countless more folks including legislators at an increased risk.

Steven M. DAntuono, assistant director responsible for the FBIs Washington Field Office, said Reffitt showed wanton disregard for the peaceful transition of power.

The FBI and our police partnerscontinue to be steadfast inside our commitment to make sure that all individuals who committed crimes on Jan. 6 are held to take into account their actions, DAntuono said.

In court on Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Risa Berkower read a short letter from Reffitt’s son Jackson Reffitt, who testified against his father. He wanted mental health treatment to participate his father’s sentence.

My dad has lost himself to countless things, Jackson Reffitt wrote. The prison system ought to be used never to destroy an individual, but to rehabilitate one.

Former U.S. Capitol OFFICER Shauni Kerkhoff also delivered a victim impact statement, requesting the utmost sentence for Reffitt due to his insufficient remorse, his pride in his actions and the turmoil he caused.

His actions werent acts of patriotism, these were acts of domestic terrorism, Kerkhoff said.

Peyton Reffitt, among Guy Reffitt’s daughters, said her father had not been a threat and that his mental health was “a genuine issue.” She had trouble living through a few of her statement because she was overcome with emotion, and her father was visibly crying.

Reffitt’s daughter had previously written a letter to the judge that it had been “enormously embarrassing” that her father just like a large amount of “middle-aged white men” was sucked in by Trump and that her dad “fell to his knees when President Trump spoke.”

President Trump deceived my dad and several other normal citizens with families to trust that past election was fraudulent, the 18-year-old wrote in her letter.

She argued Monday that her father didn’t play a leadership role on Jan. 6.

My fathers name wasnt on all of the flags which were there that day, that individuals were carrying,” she said in court. “It had been another mans name.”

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