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January dates offered for Capitol riot trial of Gravette man

Man pictured in speaker’s office by Bill Bowden | November 29, 2022 at 4:54 a.m.
Richard Barnett (Washington County sheriff's office & special to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette/AFP via Getty Images/Saul Loeb)

The trial of a Gravette man charged in the U.S. Capitol riot could be held the week of Jan. 9 or Jan. 16, according to a "joint notice of trial availability" filed Monday by attorneys on both sides in the case.

The trial of Richard "Bigo" Barnett, 62, is scheduled to begin Dec. 12 in the District of Columbia, but last week his attorneys asked that it be moved to March.

Federal prosecutors responded saying they don't object to a continuance, but they would like for it to be only 30 to 45 days.

In an order on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Christopher R. Cooper of the District of Columbia federal court said he could grant a "brief continuance." He gave both parties until Monday to file a joint motion with available trial dates.

"If the parties cannot offer a date that also conforms with the Court's schedule, the Court will deny the motion and proceed with the scheduled trial," wrote Cooper.

The judge hadn't responded to the proposed trial dates as of late Monday.

The motion from the attorneys also asked that other deadlines for pre-trial filings be extended to correspond with the new trial date.

"In an attempt to minimize the burden on the Court's calendar and the jury, the parties have discussed the possibility of stipulating to certain undisputed facts in an effort to streamline the trial," according to Monday's motion. "The parties hope to arrive at such stipulations in advance of the trial in the interest of judicial economy."

Barnett faces seven charges in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Among other things, Barnett is charged with taking a dangerous weapon -- a stun gun -- into the Capitol that day and for obstructing an official government proceeding: Congress' meeting to certify the Electoral College vote count indicating Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

Barnett received considerable media attention after posing for photos with his foot on a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office suite.

Besides Barnett, Peter Francis Stager, 43, of Conway also faces felony charges in connection with the riot. Stager remains in the District of Columbia jail. He is the only Jan. 6 defendant from Arkansas still incarcerated.

Jon Thomas Mott, 39, of Yellville faces misdemeanor charges in connection with the Jan. 6 breach. He's scheduled for a plea agreement hearing Wednesday.

All three have pleaded innocent.

Robert Thomas Snow, 78, of Heber Springs pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for "parading, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol building."

He was sentenced to probation and community service.


Print Headline: Barnett riot trial may be early ’23

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