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Barnett sentenced to 54 months in prison for role in Capitol riot

by Bill Bowden | May 24, 2023 at 7:34 p.m.
Richard "Bigo" Barnett of Gravette (right), stands with his attorney Jonathan Gross, outside federal court in Washington in this Jan. 23, 2023 file photo. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Bill Bowden)

WASHINGTON — Richard “Bigo” Barnett, 63, of Gravette, was sentenced on Wednesday to serve 54 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Christopher R. Cooper for his role in the U.S. Capitol riot of Jan. 6, 2021.

Barnett’s legal team had argued for a maximum of one year in prison, while federal prosecutors wanted 7.25 years.

In January, after a two-week trial, a jury in the District of Columbia found Barnett guilty of all eight counts — four felonies and four misdemeanors.

He faced enhanced charges for entering the Capitol with a dangerous weapon — a Hike ’n Strike Walking Staff stun gun he bought a week earlier at the Bass Pro Shop in Rogers.

While in the Capitol, Barnett posed for pictures with his foot on a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office suite. His lawyers said the government targeted him because that photo circulated widely in the media.

Besides the dangerous weapon, among the more serious charges against Barnett, he was found guilty of interfering with Metropolitan Police Officer Terrence Craig during a civil disorder.


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