First U.S. Capitol Rioter To Stand Trial Convicted On All Counts

Guy Reffitt, the Texas Three Percenter who is the first U.S. Capitol rioter to stand trial, was convicted by a jury Tuesday of five felony counts stemming from the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

A federal jury in Washington, D.C. deliberated for roughly three hours before they found Reffitt guilty of five counts: obstruction of an official proceeding, being unlawfully present on Capitol grounds while armed with a firearm, transporting firearms during a civil disorder, interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder, and obstruction of justice.

The government sought to cast Reffitt, a member of the Texas Three Percenter militia group, as a ringleader of one of the first waves of the mob that breached the Capitol. Video played by prosecutors during the trial showed Reffitt climbing a stone banister near where scaffolding had been put up in advance of President Joe Biden‘s inauguration, and him confronting U.S. Capitol Police officers who warned him to back down before they fired less-than-lethal ammunition and pepper spray to stop his advance.

At one point, the prosecution played out first-person footage that Reffitt recorded with a camera mounted on his helmet while in the crowd at the “Save America” rally prior to the attack.

“We’re taking the Capitol before the day is out,” Reffitt says in the video while in the crowd at the rally. “Everybody is in the same harmony on that … dragging ’em out kicking and f***ing screaming.”

“I didn’t come here to play games … I just want to see Pelosi’s head hit every f***ing stair on the way out,” he says later. “I think we have the numbers to make it happen … without firing a single shot.”

Reffitt’s son, Jackson Reffitt, took the stand and testified against his father.

Before Jan. 6, Jackson Reffitt had flagged his father to the FBI with concerns about Reffitt’s increasingly violent rhetoric. Indeed, when Reffitt returned from Washington, he told his kids that “traitors get shot” in an apparent effort to get them to keep quiet.

Later, when the FBI called Jackson to ask if his father was at the Capitol on Jan. 6, Jackson confirmed that he was.

Reffitt is one of several Jan. 6 rioters accused of possessing a firearm while on Capitol grounds, and prosecutors said he traveled from his home in Texas to Washington with an AR-15 rifle and a Smith and Wesson .40 caliber pistol — though he is only alleged to have carried the pistol during the riot itself.

Each of the two obstruction charges carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison. The charge of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a firearm carries a statutory maximum of 10 years. Each of the two civil disorder charges carries a statutory maximum of five years in prison. The charges also carry potential financial penalties.

Reffitt is scheduled to be sentenced on June 8.

About J. Williams

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