A Texas man will be sentenced for storming and attacking the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2020.
A jury unanimously found Wylie resident Guy Reffitt guilty of two counts of civil disorder, obstruction of justice, obstruction of an official proceeding, and both entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a firearm.
Prosecutors successfully accused Reffitt of entering government property with a handgun and zip ties. His teenage son, Jackson, had already reported the defendant to the FBI before Jan. 6.
The accused allegedly sent multiple messages to fellow Texas Three Percenters members, encouraging them to travel to Washington.
“The fuel is set … [and] we will strike the match in D.C. on the 6th,” he said according to the U.S. Department of Justice website.
Surveillance footage shows Reffitt wearing a blue jacket to cover his waistband, and leading others upstairs near the platform where Joe Biden was inaugurated as president.
The FBI’s Washington Field Office welcomed the court’s decision to sentence Reffitt, who is the first Jan. 6 protester to stand trial.
“Rather than take responsibility for his actions at the U.S. Capitol … Reffitt opted to put his family through a painful trial,” assistant director Steven D’Antuono said in a statement.
D’Antuono hopes the jury’s guilty verdict will help deter protesters from attacking the U.S. Capitol Complex.
“[The] 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,” he said.
However, wife Nicole Reffitt described the conviction as a verdict “against all American people,” and vowed to appeal the decision.
“This fight has just begun, 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 [have] got this,” she said according to NBC News.
Hundreds of extreme protesters previously smashed windows, vandalized public property, seized offices, and forced a complete evacuation of both the House and Senate.
The FBI has already arrested more than 775 suspects in connection to the Capitol riots. The actual number of potential suspects could easily total up to 2,500 people.