Who is Guy Reffitt: the Jan 6. rioter sentenced to more than 7 years in prison?
Guy Reffitt, one of the first Capitol rioters who went to trial was setenced to eighty-seven months in jail for his actions.
Texas resident Guy Reffitt was sentenced to eighty-seven years in prison after rejecting a prosecutor’s plea deal, making him one of the first rioters to go to trial. Reffitt, the former recruiter for the right-wing militia, Three Percenters, was one of the first insurrectionists to deny a plea deal and take his case to trial. In the end, however, Reffitt admitted that the choice was a mistake.
Before his sentencing, he asked for leniency from District Judge Dabney Friedrich, by describing himself as a “fucking idiot” who idolized and attempted to model his behavior after “founding fathers and stupid shit like that.”
Guy Reffitt’s children take the stand
Reffitt’s son testified against him during the trial, saying that his father told him, “‘if you turn me in, you’re a traitor.”
“‘And traitors get shot.’”
His daughter, Peyton, on the other hand, spoke about his temperament during his sentencing hearing and said her father was “not a threat to my family.” Peyton also talked about how Donald Trump needed to be held accountable. “My father’s name wasn’t on all the flags that were there that day, that everyone was carrying that day. He is not the leader.”
This common refrain came through during the House Select committee on January 6th. The public heard from two rioters present on the 6th, Jason Van Tatenhove and Stephen Ayres.
Ayres specifically spoke about how the president’s words encouraged him to make the trip to Washington and that he now sees the damage his participation has done to his family, career, and life. Many of those who went to Washington to distrupt the electoral count were were fed right-wing misinformation spread by the president, those close to him, and right-wing news outlets like Fox, Newsmax, and One America Network.
An over seven year sentece handed down
Reffitt entered the Capitol on January 6th armed, and the prosecutors obtained video of him making threatening and violent remarks about Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. In the video, he is on camera saying, “I just want to see Pelosi’s head hit every fucking stair on the way out. ... And (Republican leader) Mitch McConnell too.”
While many have tried to downplay the violent intentions of the rioters, Reffitt’s case highlights the levels of radicalization many underwent before making their way to Washington.
CNN has reported that the Justice Department may have given Reffitt a harsher sentence to encourage those being offered a plea bargain in their cases to take them. Judge Friedrich told Reffitt that although he may “want to be an important person who makes a difference,” he gone “about it in all the wrong ways.”
Adding to the severity of his sentence was that the prosecutor Jeffrey Nestler that he was a domestic terrorist who “wanted to physically and remove members of Congress from power.”
As of 25 July, more than three hundred and twenty-nine rioters have taken guilty pleas, and the investigation into other possible trespassers remains open.