A Texas man convicted of storming the U.S. Capitol with a holstered handgun, helmet, and body armor was sentenced Monday to a lot more than seven years in prison, the longest sentence imposed up to now among a huge selection of Capitol riot cases.
Prosecutors said Guy Reffitt told fellow members of the Texas Three Percenters militia group he planned to drag House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from the Capitol building by her ankles, with her head hitting every step along the way down, in accordance with a court filing.
Mr. Reffitts prison sentence seven years and 90 days is 2 yrs more than the prior longest prison sentence for a Capitol riot defendant. But its not even half along the 15-year prison term requested by way of a federal prosecutor, who called Mr. Reffitt a domestic terrorist and said he wished to physically replace members of Congress.
Mr. Reffitt was the initial person to be on trial for the Jan. 6, 2021, attack, where supporters of then-President Donald Trump halted the joint session of Congress for certifying Joe Bidens 2020 electoral victory.
U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich, who presided over Mr. Reffitts jury trial, also sentenced him to 3 years of supervised release after his prison term and ordered him to cover $2,000 in restitution.
Sentencing guidelines calculated by the judge needed a term of imprisonment which range from seven years and 90 days to nine years.
Judge Friedrich rejected prosecutors contention an upward departure for terrorism resulting in a far longer sentence was warranted in Mr. Reffitts case. It had been the 1st time that prosecutors have requested that sentencing enhancement for a Jan. 6 case.
He wished to physically and literally remove Congress, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Nestler told the judge. We do think that he could be a domestic terrorist.
Judge Friedrich, however, questioned why Mr. Reffitt would merit the terrorism enhancement when a great many other rioters engaged in violence and made similarly disturbing threats.
The longest sentence before Mr. Reffitts was five years and 90 days, for just two men who pleaded guilty to assaulting cops at the Capitol.
Mr. Reffitt, who already has been jailed for about 19 months, initially balked at talking with the judge during Mondays hearing. But he changed his mind throughout a lunch time break and offered an expletive-laden apology to cops, lawmakers, and congressional staffers who have been at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Calling himself an idiot, Mr. Reffitt struggled to describe why he stormed the Capitol.
It had been a large blur, he said. It had been just very chaotic and confusing.
Judge Friedrich questioned the sincerity of Mr. Reffitts apology and expressions of remorse, noting he has been publishing statements from jail where he portrays himself along with other rioters as patriots who have been justifiably rebelling against a tyrannical U.S. government.
Not merely are they not patriots, they’re direct threats to your democracy and you will be punished therefore, the judge said.
Mr. Reffitt suggested that his fiery rhetoric from prison was hyperbole essential to raise money to aid his family.
Im on the road easily dont say a thing that would garner money for them, he said.
Defense attorney Clinton Broden asked for Mr. Reffitt to be sentenced to only 2 yrs in prison. Mr. Broden noted that Mr. Reffitt didnt assault any police officers or enter the Capitol building.
Videos captured the confrontation between outnumbered Capitol cops and a mob of individuals, including Mr. Reffitt, who approached them on the west side of the Capitol.
Mr. 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 built with a camcorder when he advanced on the officers, in accordance with prosecutors. He retreated after an officer pepper sprayed him in the facial skin, but he waved on other rioters who ultimately breached the building, prosecutors said.
Mr. Reffitt didnt testify at his trial before jurors convicted him in March of most five counts in his indictment. The jury found him guilty of obstructing Congress joint session, of interfering with cops beyond your Capitol and of threatening his two teenage children should they reported him to police.
Mr. Reffitts 19-year-old son, Jackson, testified that his father told him and his sister, then 16, they will be traitors should they reported him to authorities and warned them that traitors get shot.
Guy Reffitt was an associate of the Texas Three Percenters militia group, in accordance with prosecutors. The Three Percenters movement identifies the myth that only 3% of Americans fought in the brand new War contrary to the British.
Mr. Reffitt lived along with his wife and children in Wylie, Texas, a Dallas suburb. He drove to Washington, D.C., with Rocky Hardie, a new member of the militia group.
Mr. Hardie testified that both of these were armed with holstered handguns if they attended Mr. Trumps Stop the Steal rally prior to the riot. Mr. Hardie also said Mr. Reffitt gave him two pairs of zip-tie cuffs in the event they had a need to detain anybody.
A lot more than 840 folks have been charged with federal crimes linked to the riot. Over 340 of these have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanors. A lot more than 220 have already been sentenced, with nearly 1 / 2 of them receiving terms of imprisonment. Approximately 150 others have trial dates stretching into 2023.
Mr. Reffitt is among seven Capitol riot defendants to obtain a jury trial up to now. Jurors have unanimously convicted all seven of these on all counts within their respective indictments.
This story was reported by The Associated Press.