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First Jan. 6 Capitol riot defendant to stand trial found guilty of all charges

Mar 08, 2022


A Texas man has been convicted of storming the U.S. Capitol with a holstered handgun. The guilty verdict is a milestone victory for federal prosecutors in the first trial among hundreds of cases arising from last year’s riot.

Guy Reffitt, a then-supporter of President Donald Trump when he went to the Capitol on January 6, was charged with five counts: wanting to obstruct the congressional certification of the 2020 presidential election, transporting guns into D.C., carrying a Smith & Wesson handgun onto the restricted grounds of the Capitol, interfering with Capitol Police protecting the Upper West Terrace and obstructing justice by threatening his son and daughter when he returned to Texas.

The jury of six men and six women in D.C.’s federal court deliberated for just under four hours. The video above includes reaction to the verdict from Reffitt’s family.

Reffitt was armed with a Smith & Wesson pistol in a holster on his waist, carrying zip-tie handcuffs and wearing body armor and a helmet equipped with a video camera when he advanced on police, according to prosecutors. He retreated after an officer pepper-sprayed him in the face, but he waved on other rioters who ultimately breached the building, prosecutors said.

It’s the first case related to January 6 to go to trial and tested the Justice Department’s ability to tie one person’s actions in the crowd to the broader attack on Capitol Hill.

Reffitt was arrested less than a week after the riot. The FBI found a handgun in a holster on a nightstand in the defendant’s bedroom when they searched his home near Dallas.

The conviction could have a dramatic effect on the more than 500 Capitol riot defendants whose cases are still making their way through the justice system.

The maximum sentence for the most severe of Reffitt’s charges — obstruction of Congress and obstruction of justice — is 20 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 8, 2022.

Nicole Reffitt, wife of Guy Reffitt: “The verdict today is actually against all American people. You’re going to be convicted on your First Amendment rights. All Americans should be wary. This fight is just begun.”

“Don’t take a plea. Do not take a plea. They want us to take a plea. The reason that we have all guilty verdicts is that they are making a point out of Guy and that is to intimidate the other members of the one-sixers. And we will all fight together.”

“Like I said, Guy was used as an example today to make all the one-sixers take a plea. Do not take a plea one-sixers. Do not. We got this.”

“Using my minor child as a pawn is probably the most disgusting ploy I have ever seen. Unfortunately we had to be a part of that. And you know, it just really opened my eyes up to the overreach of the DOJ and the effect that it will have on the American people in the long run. As long as you allow this to continue, you are all in danger.”

Peyton Reffitt, 16, daughter of Guy Reffitt: “In my experience, I do agree that kids should never be used against their parents.”