Aug 1, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Rioter who brought gun to Capitol gets longest Jan. 6 prison sentence

Rioters assaulting the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Rioters assaulting the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge on Monday sentenced Guy Reffitt, a Texas man who brought a handgun to the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, to 87 months in prison, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: At just over 7 years, Reffitt's sentence is so far the longest related to the 2021 assault. Federal prosecutors were seeking a longer punishment by classifying his actions as domestic terrorism.

  • Judge Dabney Friedrich disagreed with prosecutors on sentencing enhancement on Monday, saying it would create "unwarranted sentencing disparity” with other cases involving similar threats or conduct related to the riot, Politico reports.

The big picture: Reffitt, a member of the far-right militia group the Texas Three Percenters who wanted former President Trump to remain in power, was the first defendant to stand trial over charges from the riot.

  • He was convicted on five counts in March, including traveling transport of a firearm in support of civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding.
  • Reffitt did not enter the Capitol during the riot but charged a police line on the Capitol's west front and was incapacitated.
  • During the trial, Reffitt's son testified that he threatened him and his sister to prevent them from telling law enforcement about his involvement in the riot, according to CBS News.

Go deeper: Jan. 6 defendant sentenced to 63 months in prison for assaulting police

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