- The Capitol rioter Guy Reffitt was sentenced to seven years in prison on Monday.
- His son Jackson tipped off the FBI after he grew concerned about his father’s radicalized rhetoric.
- Reffitt’s role in the Capitol riot tore his family apart, Jackson testified earlier this year.
The Capitol rioter who was sentenced to seven years in prison on Monday was turned into the FBI by his teenage son, which had broken up the family.
Guy Reffitt of Wylie, Texas, was convicted of five felony charges, including possession of a semi-automatic weapon on Capitol grounds and threatening his own children to prevent them from reporting him to law enforcement.
A federal judge sentenced Reffitt to 87 months — or seven years and and three months — behind bars and ordered him to pay $2,000 in restitution, NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth reported. The sentence is the longest given to a Capitol rioter so far.
Prosecutors said Reffitt, who was a member of the far-right Three Percenters militia group, led a mob of protesters up a stairway outside the Capitol and told them he planned to drag House Speaker Nancy Pelosi out of the building by her ankles, court documents seen by Insider said.
After the Capitol riot, Reffitt returned to Texas where he told his then-18-year-old son, Jackson, and then-16-year-old daughter Peyton that they would be “traitors” if they turned him in.
“If you turn me in, you’re a traitor, and you know what happens to traitors … Traitors get shot,” he told them, according to an affidavit.
But Jackson had already tipped off the FBI in December 2020 after becoming increasingly concerned by Guy’s radicalized rhetoric.
Jackson discovered his father was at the Capitol riot when he began posting pictures of it on the family group chat, he told ABC News in an article published this January. The younger Reffitt said he received a phone call from the FBI asking if his father was at the Capitol, and he confirmed that he was. The elder Reffitt was arrested at his home on January 19, 2021.
“I was paranoid through the roof for a while because my dad would constantly go to protests and he would constantly bring his guns and constantly get involved in stuff that he shouldn’t be in,” Jackson told Vice News earlier this year.
Jackson’s decision to turn in his father caused a huge rift in their family, he testified at Reffitt’s trial in March.
“It’s difficult. It’s surreal,” the younger Reffitt said, adding that he moved out of the house after his family learned about his cooperation with the FBI on CNN.
His contact with his family has been limited since, he testified at the time.
“I also bear the guilt of pretty much tearing this family apart, and it sucks, but I can’t do much about it,” Jackson told ABC News.
Reffitt’s wife and two daughters, Peyton and Sarah, have stood by him. After his sentencing, his daughters told reporters that they believed it was not fair for their father to receive such a long prison term while more powerful people, like former President Donald Trump, remain free.
“To mark my dad as this horrible person, and then having him prosecuted like this, when somebody is maybe even able to get elected again? Doesn’t seem right to me,” Sarah Reffitt said
“Trump deserves life in prison if my father is in prison for this long,” Peyton Reffitt added.
Reffitt’s wife, Nicole, did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
As of late July, more than 880 people have been charged in connection with the effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election on January 6.