Jul 17, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Federal prosecutors seek 15-year sentence, the longest thus far, for Capitol rioter

Jan. 6
U.S. Capitol Police scuffle with rioters after they broke through security fencing outside of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo: Graeme Sloan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Federal prosecutors are asking that Jan. 6 rioter Guy Reffitt, who was the first Jan. 6 defendant to go to trial earlier this year, receive a 15-year prison sentence, according to a court filing on Friday.

Why it matters: If accepted by the presiding judge, Reffitt's sentence would be the longest given to a Capitol rioter so far.

  • Reffitt's prison sentence would be nearly triple the more than five-year prison term handed down to Capitol rioter Robert Palmer, who is currently serving the longest sentence given to date.

The big picture: Reffitt carried a gun onto Capitol grounds and interfered with the police line during the riot. He also threatened to harm his son and daughter when he returned to Texas if they turned him in to the FBI.

  • A jury found him guilty of all charges back in March.
  • In the court filing, federal prosecutors argue that Reffitt played a central role in "overwhelming officers and showing the mob the way forward at the outset of the riot."
  • The filing notes that Reffitt has not shown any acceptance of responsibility for the events of Jan. 6 and is "defiant that he is a political prisoner."
  • The filing also notes that Reffitt took part in the insurrection with the "intention to use his gun and police-style flexicuffs to forcibly drag legislators out of the building and take over Congress."

What to watch: Reffitt is set to be sentenced on Aug. 1, AP reported.

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