First trial in Jan. 6 uprising ends in conviction on all counts

Prosecutors said Gus Wesley Reffitt “lit the fire” that allowed others to overwhelm Capitol police officers, resulting in the deaths of 5 people, including a police officer, injury to more than 100 police officers and over $1 million in damages to the US Capitol.

By

National News

March 8, 2022 - 4:47 PM

Police try to hold back protesters who gather to storm the U.S. Capitol and halt a joint session of the 117th Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Guy Reffitt of Texas was convicted Tuesday in the first trial of a Capitol rioter. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

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.

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