Emotions ran high during the testimony at the trial of a North Texas man accused of participating in the United States Capitol insurrection.
Guy Reffitt of Wylie, Texas, on trial for five criminal charges including obstruction and weapons offences, was in tears as his son Jackson testified against him in the ongoing trial.
Jackson Reffitt, 19, told the jury he was concerned about his father’s rhetoric in the weeks between the election and the January 6 uprising, describing the text messages sent by Guy Reffitt as “surreal and chilling “, according to court transcripts obtained by NPR.
“What is about to happen will shock the world,” Guy wrote in a message to his family weeks before the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
Jackson Reffitt had already reported his father to the FBI before the uprising, an action that Jackson said made him “scary,” but the FBI did not respond, ironically, until January 6.
Jackson told the jury that upon seeing the television footage of the riot, he began texting his father who was at the scene. The teenage son said he told his dad to believe in the system even though his dad laughed at a stolen election.
Upon Guy’s return home, Jackson recorded a video of him talking about his experiences in Washington.
“Your father was there when an epic historic thing happened in this country,” Guy said on the video, which was shown to the jury. “I couldn’t get in. But I lit the fire.”
The jury also saw video that Guy shot during the riots using a 360-degree camera attached to the top of a helmet he was wearing that day.
“We’re taking the Capitol before the end of the day,” Reffitt said on the video. “Pulling them out by their hair – every single one of them.”
The video showed Guy Reffitt shouting profanity as he pushed other rioters around him and threatened prominent politicians, reserving particular wrath for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
“Pelosi comes out on her fucking ears, dragging that female dog off the hard core,” Reffitt shouted in the video.
Reffitt did not enter the Capitol building that day after Capitol police shot him with pepper balls and orange chemical spray that temporarily blinded him. But he boasted on a Zoom recording that was played for the jury that he was an instigator nonetheless.
“No one was moving forward until I climbed up that ramp,” he said in the footage. “I couldn’t even see, but I kept screaming, ‘Take the house’.”
He also expressed disgust during that Zoom call to Capitol police that ultimately helped quell the uprising. “They’re lucky we didn’t shoot them,” Reffitt said. “They should really be grateful.”
The defense attempted to portray Jackson Reffitt, who publicly supported Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ causes, equally deeply rooted in a political ideology contrary to his father’s beliefs, but the young Reffitt said he was afraid his father become violent towards him. family.
Jackson told the jury that Guy Reffitt told him and his sister Peyton that ‘traitors get shot’ and that when a ‘pissed off’ Peyton turned his attention to her phone, Guy Reffitt threatened to “put a bullet” through.
“Scared, not really for me, but for my sister,” Jackson told the jury. “Because what he said was a threat… It’s not okay to tell your kids.”
Jackson Reffitt’s testimony lasted over three hours. The trial continues today.
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