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

WASHINGTON—ONE Donald Trump Fan of Texas who attempted to storm the US Capitol while armed with a gun has been sentenced to more than 7 years in prison Monday after a judge denied the Justice Department’s request “strengthening terrorism” which would have resulted in a longer prison sentence.

Guy Refit was the first accused of January 6 to stand trial. Reffitt’s own son actually notified the FBI a few weeks before January 6, but didn’t hear back until after the attack. The government had a huge amount of evidence against Reffitt, including that of his friend testimony that Reffitt wore zip ties and that the duo made the decision to wear guns because they preferred to be “judged by a jury of 12 than carried by six.”

Refit was convicted of five counts in Marchincluding carrying a firearm in support of civil disorder and obstruction of official process, although he did not enter the Capitol or use physical violence as he was eventually incapacitated after charging the police line.

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

“By any legitimate definition of the term patriot, Mr. Reffitt’s behavior on and around January 6 does not fit the term,” Friedrich said.

What Reffitt and others did that day was the “antithesis” of patriotism, Friedrich said.

Guy Refit
Guy Reffitt sits next to his attorney William Welch, right, in federal court in Washington on February 28, 2022.Dana Verkouteren / AP file

In court on Monday, Reffitt described himself as “a fucking idiot” and “not thinking clearly” when he attempted to storm the US Capitol.

“I clearly screwed up,” Reffitt said.

“I really wanted to apologize, multiple apologies really, and accept responsibility because I hate what I did,” he said.

Reffitt, who was a member of the Texas III%ers, told the judge he no longer wanted to associate with militia groups or “or stupid bullshit like that.”

Friedrich, a Trump appointee and former member of the US Sentencing Commission, said giving Reffitt an enhanced sentence for carrying a weapon while committing a crime and for committing a crime of domestic terrorism would create a disparity in sentencing with the other January 6 defendants.

“There are a lot of cases where the defendants committed very violent assaults and even possessed weapons … who weren’t given that start,” Freidrich said.

Prosecutors had argued that the upward move for terrorism was justified because Reffitt “planned to overtake our government.”

“He wasn’t done,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Nestler said. “Jan. 6 was the preface.

“We believe what he was doing that day was terrorism, we believe he is a domestic terrorist,” Nestler continued.

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

Defendant Guy Reffitt at the Capitol.
Guy Reffitt at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.United States District Court for DC

“I’m taking the Capitol with everybody fucking else,” Guy Reffitt said in his own registration, as “Tiny Dancer” performed at Trump’s Jan. 6 rally. “We’re gonna drag ’em all kicking and screaming, I don’t care. I just wanna see Pelosi’s head hit every goddamn stairway on the way out, and Mitch McConnell too, f— ’em all… It’s time to take our country back… I think we have the numbers to make it happen.

He also recorded a Zoom meeting on his computer where he spoke at length about his actions on January 6.

Nestler had argued on Monday that Reffitt “is in a class of her own”, but Freidrich said she was “not so sure she agreed with the government on this” given the number of other defendants of January 6 who said similar things.

“This defendant has chilling claims that border on delusional, and they are extremely concerning to the court,” Freidrich said. “But other defendants have done it too. That’s the point I’m trying to make.

According to Friedrich’s rulings, without the sentencing enhancements, Reffitt’s sentencing guidelines were 87 to 108 months in federal prison.

Prosecutors argued during his trial in March that Reffitt “lit the matchon the west side of the Capitol on Jan. 6, leading the crowd towards the Capitol building where rioters stormed.

“He was thrilled with what he did, what the crowd did,” a federal prosecutor said. Told jurors. “Back home in Texas, he thought he was okay.”

Matthew Graves, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said Monday’s sentence held Reffitt accountable for “his violent and unconscionable conduct” and said Reffitt’s behavior “contributed to the numerous assaults on U.S. forces.” order that day, putting countless more people — including lawmakers — at risk.

Steven M. D’Antuono, deputy director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office, said Reffitt had shown “blind disregard” for the peaceful transition of power.

“The FBI and our law enforcement partners continue to be steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that all individuals who committed crimes on January 6 are held accountable for their actions,” D’Antuono said.

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

“My dad got lost in countless things,” Jackson Reffitt wrote. “The prison system should not be used to destroy a person, but to rehabilitate them.”

Former United States Capitol Police Officer Shauni Kerkhoff also issued a victim impact statement, asking for the maximum sentence for Reffitt due to his lack of remorse, his pride in his actions and the turmoil he caused.

“His actions were not acts of patriotism, they are acts of domestic terrorism,” Kerkhoff said.

Peyton Reffitt, one of Guy Reffitt’s daughters, said her father was not a threat and her mental health was “a real issue”. She struggled to get through part of her statement because she was overwhelmed with emotion and her father was visibly crying.

Reffitt’s daughter had previously written a letter to the judge saying it was “extremely embarrassing” that her father – like many “middle-aged white men” – had been sucked into Trump and her father “fallen to death.” knees when President Trump spoke.”

“President Trump tricked my father and many other normal citizens with families into believing the last election was fraudulent,” the 18-year-old wrote in her letter.

She argued on Monday that her father had not played a leadership role on January 6.

“My father’s name was not on all the flags that were there that day, that everyone was carrying,” she told the court. “It was another man’s name.”

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