A Texas man found guilty of storming the US Capitol with a pistol, helmet and body armor has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison, the longest sentence so far handed down in hundreds of Capitol riots.
Rosecutors said Guy Reffitt told fellow members of the Texas Three Percenters militia group that he planned to drag House Speaker Nancy Pelosi out of the Capitol by the ankles, “banging her head on every step of the way down.” , according to a court filing .
Refitt’s sentence — seven years and three months — is two years longer than the previous longest sentence for a Capitol defendant.
But it’s less than half the 15-year sentence demanded by a federal prosecutor, who called Refitt a domestic terrorist and said he wants to physically remove and replace members of Congress.
Refitt was the first person to face trial over the January 6, 2021 attack in Washington DC, in which supporters of then-President Donald Trump disrupted the joint session of Congress to confirm Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.
US District Judge Dabney Friedrich, who presided over Refitt’s jury trial, also sentenced him to three years of supervised imprisonment and to pay $2,000 in reprieve.
The sentencing guidelines calculated by the judge provided for imprisonment from seven years and three months to nine years.
Mr. Friedrich dismissed prosecutors’ contention that an “upstream trend towards terrorism” – which would result in a much longer prison sentence – was warranted in Refitt’s case. It was the first time prosecutors had requested this increase in sentence for a Jan. 6 case.
“He wanted to physically and literally remove Congress,” Assistant US Attorney Jeffrey Nestler told the judge. “We believe he is a domestic terrorist.”
However, Mr Friedrich questioned why Refitt would deserve the terrorism endorsement when many other rioters are engaging in violence and issuing similarly disturbing threats.
The longest prison sentence before Reffitt was five years and three months for two men who pleaded guilty to assaulting police officers in the Capitol.
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/man-who-stormed-us-capitol-with-gun-gets-longest-prison-term-41883275.html Man who stormed US Capitol with gun gets longest prison term