WASHINGTON — Two children of a Texas Three Percenter charged in the Capitol riot will testify before a jury this month that he threatened their lives if they turned him in to the FBI, according to a witness list submitted this week by the Justice Department.
Jackson, 19, and Peyton Reffitt, 17, will be key witnesses in the trial of their father, Guy Wesley Reffitt. He’s scheduled to begin a jury trial Feb. 28 on five felony counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding, entering a restricted grounds with a deadly weapon and obstruction of justice through threats of physical force. It’s the last charge Reffitt’s children will testify about.
Prosecutors said in their filing they intend to introduce five audio recordings Jackson made of his father after he returned from Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6.
“[Jackson] will testify to the words the defendant used, why he perceived them to be a threat and took them seriously, and the steps he took to secure his own safety after that incident,” prosecutors wrote.
Peyton will testify, the DOJ said, that Reffitt threatened their family if they cooperated with the FBI’s investigation into his actions on Jan. 6.
“The government expects her to generally testify that she was with her brother and father in the family’s kitchen when she heard her father tell them that if they turned him in to law enforcement, they would be traitors, and traitors get shot,” prosecutors wrote. “She will also testify that she believed the defendant was intending to intimidate her and her brother to not contact the police or FBI about the defendant’s involvement in the riot at the Capitol.”
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Jackson did, ultimately, contact the FBI. He has said he’s been estranged from his family since that decision.
Prosecutors say they also intend to call a fellow member of Reffitt’s Three Percenter militia group who traveled with him from Texas on Jan. 6. The witness, identified as “R.H.” in the witness list, was given immunity for his testimony.
“He will testify about how he knows the defendant, discussions he had with the defendant, their travel arrangements, the defendant’s firearms and tactical gear, and the defendant’s movements and actions,” prosecutors wrote.
Leading up to the riot, prosecutors have said in previous memos that Reffitt talked about his intentions to “do some serous damage” to legislators. While en route to D.C., they said he discussed “dragging those people out of the Capitol by their ankles.”
Once at the Capitol, Reffitt can be seen in photographs standing on the Lower West Terrace in a blue jacket and body armor. Prosecutors say a holster can be seen at his hip. An FBI agent will be called to testify about the holster, which was found on Reffitt’s nightstand along with a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun.
Reffitt is not accused of entering the Capitol – but only because he was repelled by officers. Three USCP officers will be called to testify about their encounter with Reffitt on the Lower Weset Terrace.
“Specifically, Officer Kerkhoff launched pepperballs from a Tippmann PepperBall Launcher at the defendant, Sgt. DesCamp launched projectiles at the defendant from an FN-303 Projectile Launcher, and Sgt. Flood sprayed the defendant with ‘o.c.’ (oleoresin capsicum) from a SABRE Red 9-ounce O.C. canister,” prosecutors wrote in their witness memo. “None of these efforts stopped the defendant’s advances. Finally, Sgt. DesCamp was able to stop the defendant’s advances by spraying him with ‘o.c.’ from a SABRE Red 46-ounce O.C. canister.”
While more than 200 defendants in Capitol riot cases have now pleaded guilty, Reffitt will be the first to go to trial. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of obstructing the joint session of Congress.
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