Washington- A federal choose sentenced Man Reffitt, the Texas manfrom carrying a gun to Capitol Hill through the Jan. 6 assault, to 87 months in jail on Monday, handing down the longest sentence but associated to the 2021 assault.
Reffitt, a member of the far-right militia group the Texas Three Percenters, was the primary defendant to face trial on prices stemming from the assault. He wasof 5 felony prices, together with obstructing Congressional certification of President Biden’s victory within the Electoral School.
The 7.25-year sentence was a lot shorter than the 15 years sought by prosecutors, who argued the punishment ought to be extra extreme as Reffitt’s actions amounted to terrorism. At a sentencing listening to Monday in federal court docket in Washington, DC, Choose Dabney Friedrich disagreed, citing different instances from January 6 during which prosecutors didn’t search such an enhancement.
Nonetheless, the sentence is the longest handed all the way down to date for a defendant on January 6. Two different defendants acquired 63-month sentences earlier this yr for his or her half within the assault. Reffitt’s protection group had urged the choose to condemn him to not more than two years behind bars.
Reffitt may also be on three years’ probation after his launch and should pay a $2,000 fantastic.
Addressing the court docket throughout Monday’s listening to, Reffitt admitted he acted like a “fucking fool” on Jan. 6 and stated he regretted his actions, apologizing to Congress and officers he encountered that day.
“I used to be a bit too loopy,” Friedrich informed a skeptic. “He wasn’t considering clearly.”
The choose stated it was arduous to not see the apology as greater than “half-hearted,” notably given some conspiratorial statements he has made concerning the occasions of January 6 since his arrest.
“What he and others who attacked the Capitol on January 6 did is the antithesis of patriotism,” the choose stated earlier than sentencing.
Looking for an extended sentence, prosecutors stated in court docket paperwork that Reffitt performed a central function as a part of the mob on Jan. 6 and meant to “use his gun and versatile police-style handcuffs to drive out lawmakers.” of the constructing and take management. Congress.”
Assistant US Lawyer Jeffrey Nestler informed Choose Dabney Friedrich that Reffitt “took pleasure” in being the chief of the mob, waving to the remainder of the rioters as he confronted police on the west entrance of the Capitol.
“He did not simply need President Trump to remain in energy,” Nestler stated. “He wished to bodily and actually get rid of Congress.”
The prosecutor alleged that January 6 was “the start” for Reffitt. “He wished the remainder of his militia group to start out taking on state capitols throughout the nation,” Nestler stated.
Shauni Kerkhoff, a former US Capitol Police officer, who confronted Reffitt outdoors the Capitol on Jan. 6, implored the choose to condemn Reffitt to the utmost potential sentence below the legislation.
“His actions weren’t acts of patriotism. They have been acts of home terrorism,” Kerkhoff stated.
Prosecutors stated Reffitt additionally threatened his youngsters once they wished to report him to authorities.
At his trial, Reffitt’s 19-year-old son, Jackson, whoto legislation enforcement—informed jurors that he had realized his father was a member of the mob when he noticed his mom and sister watching information protection of the occasions that day. jackson the menace his father had made in opposition to him and his sister, Peyton, once they tried at hand him over: “For those who hand me over, you are a traitor, and traitors get shot.”
In court docket Monday, prosecutors learn a letter from Jackson to the choose, during which he described the “sluggish and painful story” of his father’s descent into conspiracy theories. He stated her father wanted psychological well being care, which Friedrich stated she would require as a part of her sentence.
Through the trial, Reffitt’s legal professional on the time didn’t name any witnesses, and Reffitt didn’t testify in his personal protection.
F. Clinton Broden, Reffitt’s new legal professional, disagreed with prosecutors’ characterization of his shopper. He argued in written memos and in court docket that Reffitt by no means truly entered the Capitol, he by no means took his gun from his holster and “by no means gave any indication that he would truly hurt his youngsters.”
Peyton, the defendant’s daughter, spoke emotionally in court docket Monday in help of her father, explaining that his psychological well being was an actual drawback.
Wiping away tears, Peyton stated: “My father’s identify was not on the flags that have been there that day, that everybody was carrying. It was one other man’s identify,” referring to former President Donald Trump, who addressed his crowd of supporters. close to the White Home earlier than marching to the Capitol.
Friedrich, the choose, appeared extra involved with Reffitt’s psychological well being and prospects as soon as he’s lastly launched, at one level asking, “What is that this man going to do after he’s launched from jail?”
“It’s actually disturbing that he repeatedly persists with these views which are outdoors of the mainstream,” he added, “His claims [about attempts to overthrow the government] You might be flawed.”
Friedrich additionally questioned Reffitt’s violent threats in opposition to lawmakers like Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“To this present day, he has not disavowed these feedback,” he stated.
Since Reffitt’s conviction by a 12-person jury, jurors have discovered 5 extra defendants responsible. One other 5 have been sentenced by judges in trials with out a jury. a defendant,he was acquitted of a number of misdemeanors by a choose.
Exterior court docket Monday, earlier than sentencing was to be imposed, Reffitt’s spouse, Nicole, informed CBS Information that she believed prosecutors’ portrayal of her husband was a “misrepresentation.”
“He is a superb man,” he stated.
Cristina Corujo contributed to this report.