2 accused Capitol rioters ordered detained until trial

Capitol Hill police salute the passing of the funeral hearse on Sunday for slain Officer Brian Sicknick, who died in the rioting at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 16 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has blocked a court order releasing an Arkansas man accused of entering House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office and stealing her mail during last week's attack on the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell on Friday issued a stay blocking a release order by U.S. Magistrate Judge Erin Weidemann in the Western District of Arkansas.


The jostling over Richard Barnett's detainment came after a 5-hour hearing Friday. Federal prosecutors sought to keep the 60-year-old in custody pending a potential trial, saying he sought to evade punishment after the Capitol attack by turning off GPS on his cellphone and paying only in cash.

Howell also ordered that Barnett be transferred to a jail in Washington, where he'll have a new bail hearing next week.

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Weidemann originally ordered that Barnett be released to home confinement on $5,000 bond. She barred him from using the Internet and interacting with anyone else who took part in the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol.

Barnett was perhaps one of the most visible participants in the insurrection, posting a video online showing him in Pelosi's office with his feet up on her desk. Another video showed Barnett boasting about taking an envelope from her office.

The FBI said officials found 11 Molotov cocktails and a military-style weapon in Barnett's truck.

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He faces charges of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful entry; violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and theft of public money, property or records.

Also Friday, a federal judge in Arizona ordered Jacob Chansley -- the so-called "QAnon Shaman" -- to remain detained until his trial because he poses a flight risk and a danger to the community.

Federal prosecutors accused Chansley of attempting to "violently overthrow" the U.S. government during the Capitol attack. Chansley, who was easily identified in videos and photos from the riots due to his headwear, face paint, tattoos and an American flag mounted onto a spear, faces charges of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

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He was arrested this week in Phoenix.

Barnett and Chansley are among dozens of people charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The FBI said it expects to charge hundreds.

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