1 of 2 | Richard Barnett, photographed in former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office where he lounged with his foot on a desk during the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison. File Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA-EFE
May 24 (UPI) -- An Arkansas man photographed in Nancy Pelosi's office, where he lounged with his foot on a desk during the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison.
Richard "Bigo" Barnett, who was found guilty earlier this year on eight counts for his role in the attack, appeared Wednesday afternoon before Judge Christopher Cooper of the U.S. District court for the District of Columbia, one day after the judge denied Barnett's motions for acquittal or a new trial.
Cooper handed down a sentence of 54 months, despite requests by federal prosecutors for a seven-year prison term after Barnett admitted he entered the Capitol carrying a 950,000-volt stun gun and an American flag.
During Wednesday's sentencing hearing, Barnett expressed regret, saying he was "not proud" of his conduct but also argued that it was "not threatening."
Barnett said he "wasn't treated fairly" and plans to appeal his convictions. "They want me to be remorseful for things I did not do," he added.
On the eve of Barnett's sentencing, Judge Cooper issued a 33-page order.
"Rejecting each challenge, the Court will deny the motions and sustain the convictions," Cooper wrote in the order released Tuesday.
Barnett, a 63-year-old retired firefighter, was convicted in January of civil disorder for blocking a Metropolitan Police Department officer in the Capitol Rotunda. Officer Terrence Craig's body camera revealed footage of Barnett yelling profanities and demanding Craig retrieve his flag, which Barnett said he left in Pelosi's office.
Besides propping a foot on a desk in the former House speaker's office, Barnett faced enhanced charges for carrying a stun gun into the Capitol.
"He unlawfully carried a dangerous stun gun into the Capitol and interfered with law enforcement's ability to control the riot by threatening an officer and refusing orders to leave the building," Cooper wrote in Tuesday's order.
Barnett, who was accused of stealing an envelope from Pelosi's office and left a letter for the former speaker that said, "Hey Nancy, Bigo was here, you biotch," was also convicted of three additional felony charges and four misdemeanors which included disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building with a dangerous weapon; theft of government property; and obstruction of an official proceeding.
Barnett's attorneys argued in their motions for acquittal or new trial that the testimony of key government witnesses should have been set aside because they testified to "material facts that are verifiably and objectively false."
"Among other claims, Barnett asserts that: there was insufficient evidence to convict him of any count, the jury instructions contained a number of prejudicial errors, the government committed a Brady violation, the government's demonstration at trial of the electric stun device that Barnett brought to the Capitol was improper, a portion of the government's closing argument was unsupported by evidence, and every key government witness committed perjury," the judge wrote in Tuesday's order, denying Barnett's motion before sentencing.