One Texas armed militia member accused of leading a “vigilant mob” to invade the US Capitol became the first rioter on January 6 to be convicted by a jury on Tuesday.
Forty-nine years old Guy Refitt was found guilty of all five counts against him, including carrying a gun on Capitol grounds, as part of a MAGA mob that stormed into government headquarters to prevent the President’s election certification. President Joe Biden. After being surrounded, Reffitt went home and threatened his two children to keep quiet about his participation in the riot.
The verdict, which a 12-person jury reached in about three hours, marked the first success of the prosecution’s trial in actually bringing a riot case to trial, setting a precedent for hundreds of other defendants. insurgents who pleaded not guilty in the deadly story. Reffitt is now expected to be sentenced on June 8, where he faces a maximum sentence of decades behind bars.
During the trial, prosecutors allege that Reffitt was driving from his home in Wylie, Texas, because he wanted to “overthrow Congress” and drag lawmakers out of the building. Assistant U.S. Attorney Risa Berkower argued with jurors during the closing arguments that an armed Reffitt proudly “ignited” allowing other MAGA robbers to overwhelm police officers. close to the Capitol and eventually break into the building.
Berkower said of the besieged security personnel: “They are in an impossible situation – outnumbered and, they fear, defeated.
Reffitt attorney William Welch III did not actually oppose the idea that his client entered the restricted area illegally, but said during closing arguments he did not physically assault the officers. and simply a man who “brags a lot”.
Sure enough, the video played during the trial shows Reffitt bragging about his interactions with the police, including him describing a confrontation with a female officer who fired an air balloon at him. ta. A member of the far-right Three Percenters accompanying Reffitt also testified of his intention to overthrow Congress by any means necessary.
Throughout the siege, Reffitt was also texting his family group chat, providing details of his movements and, prosecutors said, his intent to cause harm.
Jackson Reffitt, the defendant’s 19-year-old son, said: “I stood there in horror and disappointment, grief and fear. famously tried to turn his father into feds, testified last week. “I was extremely scared. I believe we are all like that. For those there, what will happen — as well as loss of words. ”
The teen’s testimony helped paint a picture of Reffitt’s fall into right-wing paranoia — including what the teen said were threats in their family group chat of subversive intentions. his government. Last week, young Reffitt described his father as an oil rig manager unaware of the pandemic who became “the most distant” after the family moved back to the United States from Malaysia – before eventually retiring. join a far-right militia group.
Growing radicalization, the teen said, prompted him to notify the FBI of his father’s plans in December 2020, even as he admitted to jurors that looking up how tipping on his phone is “bad”.
The teen said that when Reffitt returned home from Washington after the riot, the patriarch threatened his two children to keep quiet about his involvement. Prosecutors said Reffitt actually went as far as to threaten to shoot his son and daughter if they became “traitors” and reject him. Reffitt also allegedly told his daughter he would fire a bullet into her cell phone if she posted about him online.
“He said, ‘If you reject me, you’ll be a traitor. And traitors will be shot,” his son testified, adding that before his father was arrested, he told him, “You will know that your father was there when something historic, epic, happening in this country. And guess? I’m not done yet “.
Welch, who did not call any witnesses, tried to interpret Jackson Reffitt’s testimony during his final arguments, saying the teenager was not a reliable witness because his sister was not. take a stance that confirms your allegations.
Welch added: “This case was hastily evaluated, most of it based on bragging and exaggeration.
US Attorney Jeffrey Nestler had only one thing to say in his rebuttal before playing a Reffitt video describing the uprising: “You know what he bragged about? The truth.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/guy-reffitt-january-6-riot-suspect-trial-ends-with-verdict-in-federal-court?source=articles&via=rss Guy Reffitt, January 6 Riot Suspect, Trial Ends with Judgment in Federal Court