A member of a far-right paramilitary group was sentenced Monday to seven years in prison for the assault on the United States Capitol, becoming the first person to receive a conviction after being tried for this attack.
A federal judge in Washington DC handed down the sentence for Guy Refitt, a protester who carried a firearm during the January 6, 2021 assault and who is a member of the far-right group Three Percenters.
The sentence, of seven years and three months, is the longest that has been declared for someone involved in the events of that date, when a mob of protesters who were supporters of then President Donald Trump (2017-2021) broke into the headquarters of Congress to try to stop the ratification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
Reffitt was convicted of obstructing congressional proceedings, breaking into the Capitol while carrying a gun, confronting police officers, illegally transporting weapons, and threatening his three teenage children if they reported him; crimes to which he had pleaded not guilty.
Judge Dabney Friedrich decided, however, not to convict him of “domestic terrorism”, as requested by the Prosecutor’s Office and for which he could have spent 15 years in prison.
According to photos attached to a court document, Reffitt, a native of Texas, attended the assault on the Capitol wearing a bulletproof vest, handcuffs and a helmet with an embedded camera.
Until now, all those convicted of the assault on the Capitol on January 6 of last year had closed plea deals with the Prosecutor’s Office, so they were spared the trial. The authorities have accused more than 750 people from different parts of the country for crimes such as sedition, attacking police officers, destroying government property and entering a restricted access building. More than 200 have pleaded guilty after closing agreements with the Prosecutor’s Office.