A federal jury in Washington, D.C., today convicted Richard “Bigo” Barnett on all eight charges for his participation in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection.
WUSA9’s Jordan Fischer has been covering parts of the trial that began in U.S. District Court just over two weeks ago. Fischer reports that sentencing is set for May 3.
The prosecution asked Judge Christopher R. Cooper to jail Barnett, 62, of Gravette in Northwest Arkansas until then, but Cooper declined, the Washington Examiner reported.
The jury deliberated about three hours before returning the verdict, Fisher reported.
Barnett’s attorney, Joe McBride, told reporters that Barnett will appeal.
McBride said Barnett “didn’t get a fair trial in part because ‘Washington, D.C., is not a state’ and because Barnett was ‘not surrounded by a jury of his peers, a jury of people from Arkansas, a place where he came from,'” the Examiner reported. “McBride suggested that had Barnett been tried in Arkansas, the outcome may have been different.”
Barnett was accused, among other things, of carrying a high-voltage stun gun attached to a walking staff into the Capitol. He became notorious for a picture in which he posed with one of his feet propped on then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s desk.
Testimony in the trial concluded Friday, and closing arguments were today.
During the trial, Barnett testified that he was pushed into the Capitol and decided to look for a restroom but ended up in Pelosi’s office by mistake.
Barnett also said he has some regrets and would apologize to Pelosi if he could, the Washington Post reported last week. He also contended the high-voltage stun-gun attachment to his walking staff wasn’t working during the riots even though he carried the weapon into the Capitol. Police never recovered it or Barnett’s cell phone.
The deadly riots at the Capitol were a failed attempt to prevent Congress from certifying the 2020 presidential election results in which Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump.
According to Fischer, Barnett also testified that his “long-held support for police was shaken by his belief that officers were attacking protesters.” Barnett repeatedly called riot police “stormtroopers,” Fischer noted.
Barnett testified that he took an envelope addressed to a congressman from Pelosi’s office because he got blood on it. To compensate, he has said he left a quarter.
Barnett also left a vulgar note for Pelosi and later got into a confrontation with police because he said he left his flag in Pelosi’s office and wanted to go back and get it.
Barnett is charged with eight offenses:
*Theft of government property.
*Entering and remaining in the Capitol with a deadly or dangerous weapon, a stun gun.
*Obstruction of an official government proceeding and aiding and abetting.
*Theft of government property.
*Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon.
*Entering and remaining in certain rooms in the Capitol building.
*Disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building.
*Parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.
In another high-profile Jan. 6 case involving an Arkansan, Conway resident Peter Stager, 43, is scheduled to enter a change of plea Feb. 16 in Washington, D.C. Stager is accused of beating a police officer with a flagpole and has been jailed since shortly after the riots.