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Jury finds first US Capitol riot defendant to go on trial guilty on all counts

<i>Dana Verkourteren/AP</i><br/>
Dana Verkourteren/AP

By Katelyn Polantz and Hannah Rabinowitz, CNN

A jury in Washington, DC, on Tuesday found January 6 rioter Guy Reffitt guilty of all five charges he faced related to the US Capitol attack, in the pivotal outcome of the first federal trial related to the riot.

Reffitt, a Texas Three Percenter and supporter of then-President Donald Trump when he went to the Capitol on January 6, was charged with five counts — wanting to obstruct the congressional certification of the 2020 presidential election, transporting guns into DC, carrying a Smith & Wesson handgun onto the restricted grounds of the Capitol, interfering with Capitol Police protecting the Upper West Terrace and obstructing justice by threatening his son and daughter when he returned to Texas.

The jury of six men and six women in DC’s federal court deliberated for just under four hours Tuesday.

The week-long trial alternated between a painful reliving of the attack for Capitol Police witnesses, a civics lesson on Congress, and a family drama where a son testified against his father.

It was the first case related to January 6 to go to trial and tested the Justice Department’s ability to tie one person’s actions in the crowd to the broader attack of Capitol Hill.

Reffitt, 49, has been held in jail since his arrest in late January 2021. His case rose to national attention after his son, Jackson Reffitt, did major national TV interviews about turning his father in to the FBI after disagreeing with him about his Trump support and involvement in the right-wing group the Texas Three Percenters.

The conviction could have a dramatic effect on the more than 500 Capitol riot defendants whose cases are still making their way through the justice system. It could encourage some defendants to accept plea deals instead of facing a jury, and also may prompt appeals of the criminal law being used in many of the January 6 prosecutions.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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