Capitol rioter Guy Reffitt, who is currently defending himself against five felony charges over his participation in the January 6 events at the Capitol last year, does not have his son on his side in his case.
On Thursday, Reffitt had to listen as his quiet teenage son took to the stand to give testimony against him in federal court.
The Texan, 49-years-old, is the first so far to stand trial over participation in the Capitol events surrounding the election certification. Prosecutors have claimed he was carrying a loaded pistol on the grounds of the Capitol as a group of then-President Donald Trump supporters took to the building looking to disrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election.
Court documents say that Reffitt, an alleged member of the Three Percenters militia group, threatened to shoot his son and daughter if they discussed his part in the riot after he returned from Washington.
A reporter for CBS News said that the defendant “immediately broke down crying” at the trial once he saw his son called into the Washington courtroom.
Jackson Reffitt, 19-years-old, testified that he and his father had a close relationship up until 2016, and he added that his father’s rhetoric changed alarmingly after the 2020 election.
That coupled with his father’s increasing involvement in the Texas Three Percenters prompted Jackson to send a tip to the FBI on Christmas Eve. He claimed he felt “paranoid” that his father’s talk would culminate in violence.
Jackson said he secretly recorded a conversation with his father following his return to Texas, testifying that he felt “pretty gross” about doing so. In a clip that was played in the court, Reffitt was bragging about his part in the riot and said a lot of people near him were also armed but decided against firing their weapons. Then, the conversation took a turn.
“If you turn me in, you’re a traitor. And traitors get shot,” Jackson recalled his father saying. Reffitt’s wife, Jodi, let reporters know following the emotional day that she had earlier told her son she loved him.
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: HUFFPOST.COM