WASHINGTON — The first Jan. 6 defendant to take his case to trial was found guilty Tuesday of all charges related to his role in the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Guy Reffitt, a Texas man who tried to storm the U.S. Capitol while armed with a gun and zip ties, was convicted of all five counts, including transport of a firearm in support of civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding. The jury met for barely two hours before it informed the judge that it had reached a verdict.
Jurors began deliberating Tuesday morning after a weeklong trial in which they heard testimony from Reffitt's teenage son, Jackson Reffitt, who tipped off the FBI about his father before the Jan. 6 attack. Prosecutors, quoting the elder Reffitt's own words, argued that the defendant had "lit the match" on the west side of the Capitol, where some of the most brutal attacks on law enforcement took place. Video shows Reffitt, with a blue jacket covering his waistband, leading the mob up the steps of the Capitol, beside the platform where Joe Biden was inaugurated.
After the jury's unanimous verdict, Reffitt sat at the defense table and fiddled with his mask as talked to his lawyer. U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich set Reffitt's sentencing for June 8 at 10 a.m.
Steven M. D’Antuono, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office, said after the verdict that Reffitt "opted to put his family through a painful trial" rather than "take responsibility for his actions at the U.S. Capitol" on Jan. 6, 2021.
"Today’s guilty verdict in the first jury trial of a Jan. 6 defendant should serve as a reminder for others who committed crimes at the Capitol that day that these are serious charges and that the FBI and our law enforcement partners will do what it takes to hold them accountable," D'Antuono said in a statement.
Nicole Reffitt, the defendant's wife, told reporters after her husband's conviction that it was a verdict "against all American people" and that they planned to appeal.
"This fight has just begun," she said. "Guy was used as an example today to make all the 1/6ers take a plea. Do not take a plea, 1/6ers. Do not. We got this."
The most damning evidence was produced by the defendant himself. Over and over again — both before and after Jan. 6 — Reffitt recorded himself in various forums talking about what he planned to do and what he did. He even bragged about his conduct on a Zoom call that he recorded himself, which the government found on an external hard drive.
More than 750 people have been arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, and hundreds more cases are in the works. Over 200 defendants have already been sentenced.