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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Prosecutors seek 15-year sentence for armed Capitol rioter

Federal prosecutors are seeking a 15-year prison sentence for a Texas man who was convicted of attacking the US Capitol with a pistol after he was said to be a member of a militia group, according to a courtroom , which played a central role in the onslaught of a pro-Trump mob. Friday filing.

If a judge accepts the Justice Department’s recommendation, Guy Wesley Refitt’s prison sentence would be nearly three times the length of the longest sentence among the more than 200 defendants convicted in connection with the January 6, 2021 riots in the nation’s capital. have been sentenced for the offences. ,

The longest sentence to date is five years and three months for Robert Palmer, a Florida man who pleaded guilty to assaulting police officers at the Capitol.

U.S. District Judge Dabney Frederick is scheduled to sentence Refit on Aug. 1. The judge is not bound by any recommendations or sentencing guidelines calculated by the court’s probation department, which call for sentences ranging from nine years to 11 years plus three months.

Defense attorney Clinton Broden, who is seeking Refitt’s sentence of no more than two years in prison, said he was surprised by prosecutors’ recommendation. He said Refit was not charged with entering the Capitol that day or assaulting a police officer.

“It’s absolutely absurd,” he said during a telephone interview on Friday. “I certainly don’t condone what Mr. Refit did. And I think everyone understands the gravity of the crimes. But at the same time, there has to be some proportionality.”

Prosecutors argue that the refit case required an “upward departure for terrorism”, which would lead to a significantly longer sentence if the judge agreed to enforce it. They say trial evidence showed Refit had planned to travel to Washington, D.C., for the weeks before January, “with the specific intention of attacking the Capitol and capturing Congress.”

“Refitt was not intended to obstruct Congress’s certification of the Electoral College vote. Rather, Reffitt intended to physically remove legislators from the building (using their shotguns and flexicuffs, and mob power) and in fact Congress had to ‘acquire,'” Assistant US Attorney Jeffrey Nestler wrote.

Reffitt, the first Capitol riot defendant tried, was indicted by a jury in March on all five counts in his indictment. The jurors found him guilty of obstructing a joint session of Congress to testify the Electoral College vote, interfering with police officers guarding the Capitol, and threatening his two teenage children if they reported them to law enforcement. did.

Prosecutors say Refit was the leader of a Texas militia group. She told other members of the militia group that she planned to drag House Speaker Nancy Pelosi out of the Capitol building by her ankles, “hitting her head down at every step,” Nestler wrote.

Refit, a resident of Wiley, Texas, did not testify at his trial.

During the closing arguments of the trial, U.S. Attorney Risa Bercower told jurors that Refit proudly “lit a fire” that allowed others in the crowd to overwhelm Capitol police officers near the Senate door.

Juries watched videos that captured a confrontation between some Capitol police officers and a crowd of people, including Refit, who approached them on the Capitol’s west side.

According to prosecutors, Refitt was armed with a Smith & Wesson pistol in a holster at his waist, zip-tie handcuffs and wearing a helmet equipped with body armor and a video camera, according to prosecutors. Prosecutors said he held back after one officer sprayed pepper in his face, but he shook hands at other rioters, who eventually ransacked the building.

Reffitt moved to Washington, D.C. with Rocky Hardy, who said he and Reffitt were members of the Texas Three Percentage militia group. The Three Centers Militia movement refers to the myth that only 3% of Americans fought in the Revolutionary War against the British.

Hardy testified that they were both armed with holstead handguns when they attended then-President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steel” rally before the riot. Hardy said Refit talked about pulling lawmakers out of the Capitol and replacing them with people who “will abide by the Constitution.” Hardy also said that Refit gave him two pairs of zip-tie cuffs in case he needed to detain someone.

Refit’s 19-year-old son, Jackson, testified that his father threatened him and his sister when he was 16 when he moved home from Washington. Refitt told his children that they would be traitors if they reported him to the authorities and said that “traitors get shot,” recalled Jackson Refitt.

Reffitt is “done with politics,” his lawyer said in a court filing Friday.

Broden wrote, “His sole goal now is to bring his family back together, while recognizing that as much as he has spent the past two decades, it is what has driven them apart.”

More than 840 people have been indicted for riot-related federal crimes. More than 330 of them have confessed to their crime, most of them misdemeanors, and more than 200 of them have been sentenced. More than 100 others have test dates.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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