Federal authorities seek a sentence of up to 15 years in prison for the first rioter from January 6 to be tried and convicted. If successful, this would be the lengthiest sentence that has been handed down to a Capitol rioter accused to date.
Guy Reffitt, a promoter for the Three Percenters militia organization, aided and spearheaded the charge during the incident on January 6.
He might face a sentence one-third greater than the nine to 11 years recommended for him, according to federal guidelines, if his appeal is approved.
As a follow-through on the threats made by prosecutors to seek harsher penalties, the plan paves the way for similarly lengthy sentences to be handed down in future trials.
BREAKING: The DOJ has filed its sentencing memo asking a judge to order Guy Reffitt — the first J6 defendant convicted at trial — to serve 15 years in prison. They argue his actions warrant a terrorism enhancement. Link: https://t.co/iIC7hexQI2 pic.twitter.com/htZJ5uhEK7
— Jordan Fischer (@JordanOnRecord) July 15, 2022
The 15-Year Sentence
The court filing showed that Guy Reffitt was pivotal in directing the mob that attacked the Capitol.
Reffitt intended to use his weapon and police-style flex cuffs to violently drag lawmakers out of the facility and take over Congress.
In addition, the filing showed that he threatened to attack his family if they reported him to the FBI. The government respectfully asked that the court should penalize him with a 15-year prison sentence.
On March 8, a jury reached a verdict of guilty for Reffitt on all five of the charges brought against him in connection with his participation in the riot at the Capitol.
Those charges included two counts of civil disorder and one count each of constriction of official litigation, accessing and staying in a restricted facility or premises with a gun, and obstructing justice.
He was the first person charged on January 6 to go to trial.
"In video evidence played at his trial, Guy Reffitt of Wylie, Tex., said that as he stood near the front of the mob on the west side of the Capitol, he counted eight firearms carried by five people."https://t.co/VcnmyYqULA
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) July 12, 2022
Guy Reffitt said in a video (that was used as evidence during his trial) that he counted up to eight guns being carried by five different persons while standing towards the front of the crowd on the US Capitol’s west front.
Reffitt’s Motion For a New Trial
Shortly after that, Reffitt’s attorneys filed a motion for a new trial, arguing that the court had not presented substantial proof and casting aspersions on the testimony of public officials and other witness accounts.
They also questioned the credibility of Reffitt’s son. That appeal was promptly denied by District Judge Dabney Friedrich of the United States.
The current maximum punishment is five years, handed down to rioter Robert Palmer in December of last year. The recommended sentence of 15 years would be three times as long as the current maximum punishment.
On August 1st, Reffitt will receive his sentence and begin serving his time.
According to the information provided by the Justice Department, more than 850 arrests were made in connection to the attack that took place on January 6.
260 of those people have been arrested for assaulting or obstructing law enforcement.