Militiaman receives longest prison sentence for involvement in US Capitol attack

A member of the Three Percent militia was sentenced to more than seven years in prison after joining a crowd of supporters of former President Donald Trump who stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Guy Refitt, of Wylie, Texas, was convicted by a jury in March on five felony charges, including bringing a weapon into the Capitol grounds and obstructing a formal hearing.
U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich sentenced him to seven years and three months in prison, the longest sentence ever for anyone involved in the riots.

She also forbade Reffit from contacting militia groups and ordered him to undergo treatment for mental illness.

Earlier Monday, the judge said she was concerned about Refitt’s actions and comments suggesting he wanted to overthrow Congress, calling his statements “chilling statements bordering on delusional.”
“In a democracy, we respect the peaceful transfer of power,” she said.
“The election has been contested in several courts around the country, and judge after judge has said the claims are baseless.”
Ms. Friedrich refused to apply to her conviction an increase in the sentence for domestic terrorism — the first demand in the January 6 case — although the chief federal prosecutor and a former Capitol police officer who filed a victim impact statement said they believe Refitt committed terrorist act. that day

Reffit “intended to harm members of Congress,” former Capitol police officer Shauni Kerckhoff told the court, adding that she “watched in horror as he urged the angry mob to push through.”

Refitt, aged 49 at the time of his conviction, had never been to the Capitol, but video footage showed him inciting the crowd and leading other rioters up the stairs outside the building.
His trial included testimony from his estranged son, Jackson, who brought his father to tears when he told jurors that his father threatened him if he dared to call the FBI.
“He said, ‘If you turn me in, you are a traitor, and traitors are shot,'” Jackson Refitt told jurors.
At sentencing, prosecutors presented evidence suggesting that Reffit intended to commit additional acts of violence.

In one text message, he told other militias, “We have taken the capital of the United States of America and we will do it again.”

A crowd of supporters of US President Donald Trump battle law enforcement officials during an assault on the US Capitol building in Washington, D.C. January 6, 2021.

A crowd of supporters of US President Donald Trump fight law enforcement officials during the storming of the US Capitol building in Washington, DC. Source: Reuters

His daughter Peyton addressed the court with tears in her eyes as she told the judge, “If I know my father, he poses no threat to my family,” adding that his mental health “is a real problem.”

Jackson Refitt also wrote a letter that was read aloud in court. “I hope to see my father take advantage of all the security systems available in the prison, including psychiatric care,” he added.
Before the verdict was announced, Reffit said in 2020 that he was “too crazy” and openly apologized to the police and his family.
“I don’t want to have anything to do with this case anymore. I don’t want to have anything to do with militia groups… I’m sorry,” he said.
Reffit was the first Capitol rioter to appear before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

To date, federal prosecutors have returned convictions in all but one of 13 lawsuits involving the Capitol attack.