A Donald Trump fan from Texas who tried to storm the U.S. Capitol whereas armed with a gun was sentenced to greater than 7 years in jail on Monday after a choose denied the Justice Department’s request for a “terrorism enhancement” that may have resulted in a lengthier jail sentence.
Guy Reffitt was the primary Jan. 6 defendant to go to trial. Reffitt’s personal son really tipped off the FBI a few weeks earlier than Jan. 6 however did not hear again till after the assault. The authorities had an unlimited quantity of proof in opposition to Reffitt, together with his good friend’s testimony that Reffitt was carrying zip ties and that the duo had decided to hold weapons as a result of they’d fairly be “tried by a jury of twelve than carried by six.”
Reffitt was convicted on 5 counts in March, together with transport of a firearm in help of civil dysfunction and obstruction of an official continuing, though he didn’t make it contained in the Capitol or use bodily violence as a result of he was ultimately incapacitated after charging the police line.
In court docket Monday, Reffitt described himself as “a f**king idiot” and was “not thinking clearly” when he tried to storm the U.S. Capitol.
“I clearly f**ked up,” Reffitt mentioned.
“I did want to definitely make an apology, multiple apologies really, and accept my responsibility because I do hate what I did,” he mentioned.
Reffitt, who was a member of the Texas IIIpercenters, instructed the choose that he not need to affiliate with militia teams or “or any stupid s**t like that.”
Judge Dabney L. Friedrich, a Trump appointee and a former member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, mentioned that giving Reffitt a sentencing enhancement for carrying a gun in the course of the fee of against the law and for committing against the law of home terrorism would create a sentencing disparity with different Jan. 6 defendants.
“There are a lot of cases where defendants committed very violent assaults and even possessed weapons… that did not receive this departure,” Freidrich mentioned.
Prosecutors had argued that the upward departure for terrorism was warranted as a result of Reffitt was “planning to overtake our government.”
“He wasn’t done,” mentioned Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Nestler mentioned. “January 6 was the preface.”
“We do believe that what he was doing that day was terrorism, we do believe he is a domestic terrorist,” Nestler continued.
Reffitt wore a digicam on his physique that recorded his violent rhetoric in the course of the Trump rally that preceded the riot.
“I’m taking the Capitol with everybody f**king else,” Guy Reffitt mentioned in his personal recording, as “Tiny Dancer” performed at Trump’s Jan. 6 rally. “We’re all going to drag them motherf**kers out kicking and screaming, I don’t give a s**t. I just want to see Pelosi’s head hit every f**king stair on the way out, and Mitch McConnell too, f**k ’em all… It’s time to take our country back… I think we have the numbers to make it happen.”
He additionally recorded a Zoom assembly on his laptop the place he talked extensively about his actions on Jan. 6.
Nestler argued that Reffitt “is in a class all by himself,” however Freidrich mentioned she was “not so sure I agree with the government on that” given what number of different Jan. 6 defendants mentioned related issues.
“This defendant has some frightening claims that border on delusional, and they are extraordinarily concerning for the court,” Freidrich mentioned. “But other defendants did too. That’s the point I’m trying to make.”
Under Friedrich’s rulings, with out the sentencing enhancements, Reffitt’s sentence tips have been 87 to 108 months in federal jail.
Prosecutors argued throughout his trial in March that Reffitt “lit the match” on the west facet of the Capitol on Jan. 6, main the mob up in the direction of the Capitol constructing the place rioters broke in.
“He was ecstatic about what he did, about what the mob did,” a federal prosecutor instructed jurors. “Back home in Texas, he thought he has gotten away with it.”
In court docket on Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Risa Berkower learn a quick letter from Reffitt’s son Jackson Reffitt, who testified in opposition to his father. He needed psychological well being therapy to be a part of his father’s sentence.
“My father has lost himself to countless things,” Jackson Reffitt wrote. “The prison system should be used not to destroy a person, but to rehabilitate one.”
Former U.S. Capitol Police Officer Shauni Kerkhoff additionally delivered a sufferer affect assertion, asking for the utmost sentence for Reffitt due to his lack of regret, his satisfaction in his actions and the turmoil he prompted.
“His actions weren’t acts of patriotism, they were acts of domestic terrorism,” Kerkhoff mentioned.
Peyton Reffitt, certainly one of Guy Reffitt’s daughters, mentioned her father was not a risk and that his psychological well being was “a real issue.” She had a tough time making it by a few of her assertion as a result of she was overcome with emotion, and her father was visibly crying.
Reffitt’s daughter had beforehand written a letter to the choose that it was “enormously embarrassing” that her father — like loads 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 father and many other normal citizens with families to believe that this past election was fraudulent,” the 18-year-old wrote in her letter.
She argued Monday that her father didn’t play a management position on Jan. 6.
“My father’s name wasn’t on all the flags that were there that day, that everyone was carrying,” she mentioned in court docket. “It was another man’s name.”