Prosecutors stay case against man in first Capitol riot trial | National Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors finished Monday presenting testimony against a Texas man who is the first person to stand trial on charges related to the riot at the U.S. Capitol last year.

Guy Wesley Reffitt told U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich he would not testify at his trial for storming the Capitol while armed with a holstered handgun and interfering with police. After prosecutors closed their case, defense attorney William Welch said he had no plans to call defense witnesses.

Jurors will hear closing arguments from attorneys before they begin to deliberate.

Reffitt was arrested less than a week after the January 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol. He is also accused of threatening his teenage children if they reported him to law enforcement after the attack.

Two Capitol police officers who tried to push Reffitt out of the Capitol and an FBI agent who investigated the case were the last three government witnesses to testify.

Reffitt, 49, of Wylie, Texas, is a member of the “Texas Three Percenters” and bragged about his involvement in the riot to other members of the militia-like group, prosecutors say. The Three Percenters militia movement refers to the myth that only 3% of American colonists fought against the British during the Revolutionary War.

On Friday, jurors heard testimony from a self-proclaimed member of the Texas Three Percenters who drove from Texas to Washington, DC, with Reffitt. Witness, Rocky Hardie, said he and Reffitt both had holstered handguns strapped to their bodies when they attended President Donald Trump’s ‘Stop the Steal’ rally just before the riot broke out. bursts.

On Thursday, Reffitt’s 19-year-old son, Jackson, testified that his father told him and his sister, then 16, that they would be traitors if they reported him to authorities and said that “traitors get shot”. Jackson Reffitt’s younger sister, Peyton, was listed as a possible government witness but did not testify.

On Jan. 6, Reffitt had the gun holstered under his jacket, was wearing zippered handcuffs, and was wearing a body armor when he and other rioters advanced on officers on the west side of the Capitol, prosecutors say. Reffitt is not accused of entering the building. He pulled out after an officer pepper sprayed him in the face, prosecutors said.

More than 750 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the riot. More than 220 of them have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanors. and more than 110 of them have been convicted. About 90 others have trial dates.

Reffitt faces a total of five counts: obstructing official process, unlawfully being on Capitol grounds while armed with a firearm, transporting firearms during a civil disturbance, interference with law enforcement during civil unrest and obstruction of justice.

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