United States: Capitol attacker sentenced to over seven years in jail

United States: Capitol attacker sentenced to over seven years in jail

A far-right activist was sentenced on Monday in Washington to more than seven years in prison for participating in the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, the heaviest sentence handed down so far.

Guy Reffitt, 49, a member of “The Three Percenters” group, was found guilty in March of civil disorder, obstructing the work of Congress and the police, and entering and remaining on restricted grounds with a firearm, in the first trial devoted to the 6 January attack.

At the head of the first group to attack the Capitol, he had helped to force police lines, equipped according to the prosecutors with a handgun, a bulletproof vest, a helmet and plastic handcuffs. “I didn’t go in, but I helped start the fire,” the Texas-born oil industry employee then boasted in a video.

On his return to Wylie, near Dallas, he had threatened his two children to prevent them from reporting him to the police. “If you turn me in, your’re a traitor, and traitors get shot,” he said in a recorded conversation sent to the FBI by his 19-year-old son, Jackson.

During the trial, the prosecution relied on numerous videos showing Reffitt, in the front row, haranguing the crowd, and called him a “leader.” Maintaining that his actions fell under federal laws on “terrorism”, the prosecutors then demanded a stiff 15-year prison sentence. His lawyers pleaded for a two-year prison term, pointing out that he had not entered the Capitol and had not committed violence.

Judge Dabney Friedrich handed down a sentence of seven years and three months in prison. She called Reffitt’s actions “the antithesis of democracy” but refused to stray too far from the prison sentences handed down so far, the heaviest of which has been five years and three months.


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