Capitol rioter who put foot on Nancy Pelosi’s desk sentenced to 4.5 years in prison
The judge says he didn’t have a leg to stand on.
A Capitol rioter who was captured in a notorious photo putting his foot up on Nancy Pelosi’s desk was sentenced Wednesday to 4.5 years in prison — despite his claim that he meant no harm.
Richard “Bigo” Barnett — a retired firefighter from rural Arkansas, who became a symbol of Jan. 6 chaos — insisted in court Wednesday that his actions on Jan. 6, 2021, weren’t meant to be “threatening,” according to CBS News.
But US District Court Judge Christopher Cooper disagreed, handing down 54 months behind bars.
Barnett, 63, stormed the Capitol building with a stun gun and a ten-pound steel pole, made his way to Pelosi’s office and scrawled “Hey Nancy, Bigo was here, you b—ch” on an envelope, according to prosecutors.
An image of him grinning and leaning back disrespectfully in the then-Speaker’s chair was widely circulated in media reports of the riot.
Barnett was then convicted by a jury in January of eight charges, including entering the building with a deadly weapon.
At his sentencing hearing Wednesday, Barnett’s lawyers asked for less than 6 months in prison — saying he came to Washington, DC for the first time to “peacefully protest and was unfortunately caught up in the events” of Jan.6, according to NBC News.
Meanwhile, prosecutors — who said Barnett also threatened police and egged on other rioters by declaring, “This is a war” — asked for 7 years behind bars.
Barnett told the judge he was “not proud” of his behavior but insisted it wasn’t “threatening” while claiming he was treated unfairly.
“They want me to be remorseful for things I did not do,” he said, adding that he plans to appeal his convictions.
Barnett was convicted earlier this year on eight counts including civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding and theft of government property.