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Tags: jan. 6 | capitol | breach

Texas Man Guilty of All Charges in First US Capitol Attack Trial

Texas Man Guilty of All Charges in First US Capitol Attack Trial
Guy Reffitt, left, in a courtroom sketch (AP)

Tuesday, 08 March 2022 02:16 PM EST

A jury found a Texas man guilty Tuesday of all charges in the first criminal trial stemming from last year's breach of the U.S. Capitol.

Guy Reffitt, 49, was convicted of bringing a gun to Washington, interfering with police, and impeding an official proceeding — the certification by Congress of Democrat Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump in the November 2020 presidential election.

Reffitt, a member of a militia group called the Texas Three Percenters, was also found guilty of obstruction for threatening his teenaged son and daughter if they spoke to law enforcement about his involvement in the attack on the Capitol.

Reffitt's then 18-year-old son did go to the FBI despite his father's warning that "traitors get shot" and delivered emotional testimony against his father in court.

Reffitt, an oil industry worker from Wylie, Texas, was the first person to go on trial on charges stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on Congress.

The case, which was tried in a federal court in Washington, was closely watched for its potential bearing on future prosecutions of other Capitol riot defendants.

The 12-person jury deliberated for just a couple of hours before finding Reffitt guilty of all five charges against him.

"Guy Reffitt lit the fire of the very first group of rioters that breached the Capitol," prosecutor Risa Berkower said in closing arguments. "The vigilante mob was ignited by the defendant."

Video of Reffitt confronting police on the steps of the Capitol and urging on the crowd was played for the jury during four days of testimony.

Prosecutors also displayed text messages from Reffitt in which he promised to drag lawmakers out of Congress "by their hair."

"The election didn't yield the results he wanted so he took matters into his own hands," Berkower said.

Reffitt was wearing body armor and a helmet, carrying zip-tie handcuffs and armed with a .40 caliber handgun when he arrived at the Capitol, according to prosecutors.

More than 750 people have been arrested for their roles in the January 6 attack.

Nearly 220 people have pleaded guilty to various charges but Reffitt pleaded not guilty and was the first person to go on trial.

He could face up to 20 years in prison.

© AFP 2024


Newsfront
A jury found a Texas man guilty Tuesday of all charges in the first criminal trial stemming from last year's breach of the U.S. Capitol.
jan. 6, capitol, breach
371
2022-16-08
Tuesday, 08 March 2022 02:16 PM
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