WASHINGTON (AP) — A Texas man convicted of storming the united states capitol wearing a holstered pistol helmet and bulletproof vest was sentenced Monday to 87 months, more than seven years, in prison, the longest sentence imposed so far. among hundreds of cases of riots on Capitol Hill.
Prosecutors said Guy Reffitt told his fellow members of the Three Percenters Texas militia group that he planned to drag House Speaker Nancy Pelosi out of the Capitol building by the ankles, “with her head hitting every step.” on the way down,” according to a court filing. .
Reffitt was the first person to go to trial by the attack of January 6, 2021in which supporters of then President Donald Trump paralyzed the joint session of Congress to certify the electoral victory of Joe Biden in 2020.
US District Judge Dabney Friedrich presided over Reffitt’s jury trial.
Department of Justice prosecutors recommended a 15-year prison sentence for Reffitt, who has already been incarcerated for approximately 19 months. They said he was a member of a militia group that intended to drive lawmakers out of the building and take over Congress to stop the certification of the Electoral College vote.
Sentencing guidelines calculated by the court’s probation department called for a sentence ranging from nine years to 11 years and three months. Prosecutors argued that an “upward diversion of terrorism” was justified in Reffitt’s case.
Longest sentence before Reffitt’s It was five years and three months for two men who pleaded guilty to assaulting police officers on Capitol Hill.
Defense attorney Clinton Broden called for Reffitt to be sentenced to no more than two years in prison. Broden noted that Reffitt did not assault any law enforcement officers or enter the Capitol building.
Videos captured the confrontation between the outnumbered Capitol Police officers and a crowd of people, including Reffitt, who approached them on the west side of the Capitol.
Reffitt was armed with a Smith & Wesson pistol in a holster on his waist, was wearing zip-lock handcuffs and was wearing a bulletproof vest and a helmet equipped with a video camera when he advanced on officers, according to prosecutors. He walked away after an officer pepper-sprayed him in the face, but waved to other rioters who eventually stormed the building, prosecutors said.
Reffitt did not testify at his trial earlier jurors convicted him in March of the five counts in his indictment. The jury found him guilty of obstructing the joint session of Congress, interfering with police officers outside the Capitol and threatening his two teenage sons if they reported him to the police.
Reffitt’s son, Jackson, 19, testified that his father told him and his sister, then 16, that they would be traitors if they reported him to authorities and warned them that “traitors get shot.”
Guy Refitt was a member of the Texas Three Percenters militia group, according to prosecutors. The Three Percenters movement refers to the myth that only 3% of Americans fought in the Revolutionary War against the British.
Reffitt lived with his wife and children in Wylie, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. He drove to Washington, DC, with Rocky Hardie, a member of the militia group.
Hardie testified that they were both armed with holstered pistols when they attended. Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally before the mutiny. Hardie also said Reffitt gave him two pairs of cable ties in case they needed to take someone into custody.
More than 840 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the riots. More than 340 of them have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanors. More than 220 have been sentenced, and almost half of them received prison sentences. Approximately 150 others have trial dates that extend into 2023.
Reffitt is one of seven Capitol Riot defendants to have had a jury trial thus far. Jurors have unanimously convicted all seven of all counts in their respective indictments.
Follow AP coverage of the January 6 committee hearings at https://apnews.com/hub/capitol-siege.