Refit, a member of the Texas Three Centers militia, became the first Jan. 6 defendant to appear before a jury and was convicted of all five felony charges. Evidence and testimony at trial showed that he had gone to Washington with an acquaintance the day before the riots, bringing with him two AR-15 rifles and a pistol. The jury found that he had a pistol on his hip as he engaged in a tense standoff with police on the West Front of the Capitol. Less lethal weapons and tear gas shells were fired at Refit as he tried to step forward while pushing the crowd, but he himself never entered the building.
As the sentencing hearing lasted for the fourth hour on Monday, Frederick had yet to announce a sentence in the case. In theory, Reffitt could face up to 60 years, but defendants are typically sentenced to terms less than the maximum under federal guidelines.
Assistant US Attorney Jeffrey Nestler said Refit’s discussion before and after January 6 made clear that he was intent on carrying out his repeated threats to drag the speaker. Nancy Pelosic and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell By force from the Capitol Building. In the discussions caught on video, Refit was recorded referring to his desire to hear lawmakers head off the steps of the Capitol.
“He was planning to overtake our government. He wasn’t just trying to withhold certification,” Nestler said. “That was not done. January 6th was just a prelude. … Mr. Refit is in a class in his own right.”
However, Frederick said prosecutors had urged a much lower sentence in cases involving those directly involved in actual violence against police.
“You’re making recommendations that are different from what you’re doing in this case — in a different way,” said the judge who appointed President Donald Trump.
Frederick also said he is concerned that Refit will not be unreasonably punished for deciding to go to trial, rather than entering a plea deal with prosecutors.
“His decision to exercise his constitutional right to go to trial should not result in a dramatically different sentence,” she said.
Nestler also noted that Refitt was convicted of holding a handgun to his hip on Capitol Ground, which Frederick acknowledged was a significant difference from other cases so far reaching the sentence.
“Giant, huge … and what firearm deserves three times the punishment if it was not branded or used in any way?” The judge asked.
Another unusual aspect of Refit’s case is that he was convicted on January 6 of threatening to injure two of his children when he discussed his actions with officers. One of those children, Peyton Refit, spoke briefly during Monday’s hearing to urge leniency for his father. She suggested that Trump was more responsible for the events of that day than his father.
“My father’s name was not on all the flags that everyone was carrying that day,” Peyton said. “He was not a leader.”
Several times during Monday’s hearing, Frederick suggested that he thinks Refitt suffers from delusions of grandeur and that his decision to go to trial earlier this year was due to his standing as leader of those contesting the election’s certification. was part of his effort.
“He wants to be the big guy—the first to try to storm the Capitol, the first to go to trial,” the judge said. “Obviously that’s what he wants.”
Refit’s attorney, Clinton Broden, admitted that, at times, his client was at the front of the crowd on the West Front of the Capitol. However, defense counsel argued that the angry mob was determined to move toward the building, whether or not Refit waved them off.
“They must have come up the stairs regardless of Mr. Refit and I think we all know,” Broden said.