Guy Reffitt wife: Guilty verdict “against all American people”
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Texas man was convicted on Tuesday of storming the U.S. Capitol with a holstered handgun, a milestone victory for federal prosecutors in the first trial among hundreds of cases arising from last year’s riot.
A jury also convicted Guy Wesley Reffitt of obstructing Congress’ joint session to certify the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6, 2021, of interfering with police officers who were guarding the Capitol and of threatening his two teenage children if they reported him to law enforcement after the attack. Jurors deliberated about three hours and convicted him on all counts.
The verdict could be a bellwether for many other Capitol riot cases. It could give Justice Department prosecutors more leverage in plea negotiations and discourage other defendants from gambling on trials of their own.
Gregg Sofer, a former federal prosecutor who served as U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas from October 2020 to February 2021, said before Reffitt’s trial started that it would be “the canary in the coal mine.”
“If you’re a defendant awaiting trial at this point, the canary just died,” said Sofer, now a partner at the law firm Husch Blackwell. “I do think it is likely to affect people’s perceptions about the likelihood of their success.”
Reffitt, 49, of Wylie, Texas, didn’t testify at his trial, which started last Wednesday. He showed little visible reaction to the verdict, but his face was covered by a mask.
Outside court, Nicole, the wife of Guy Reffitt said the verdict was “against all American people. If you’re going to be convicted on your First Amendment rights, all Americans should be wary. This fight has just begun.”
She said her husband was being used as an example by the government. “You are all in danger,” she said.
1st trial in Capitol riot ends in conviction on all counts The Associated Press – en Español
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