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Gravette man’s Capitol riot trial set to start Jan. 9

by Bill Bowden | November 30, 2022 at 5:05 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 has been rescheduled for the week of Jan. 9.

Richard "Bigo" Barnett's trial was previously set to begin Dec. 12 in the District of Columbia.

Last week, his attorneys asked that the trial be moved to March. Federal prosecutors responded saying they didn't object to a continuance, but they would like for it to be only 30 to 45 days.

U.S. District Judge Christopher R. Cooper, in a court filing, said he could grant a "brief continuance."

He gave both parties until Monday to file a joint motion with available trial dates. They did that, saying the week of Jan. 9 was preferable but the week of Jan. 16 was an alternative.

In an order filed Tuesday, Cooper also vacated a pretrial conference set for Dec. 9 and rescheduled it for Jan. 4.

"The parties shall exchange exhibit lists and identify all expert witnesses no later than December 19, 2022," wrote Cooper. "The parties shall file objections to the admissibility of any exhibits within 3 business days after receipt of the exhibit list. The parties shall jointly submit a short narrative description of the case, to be read to the prospective jurors, and proposed voir dire questions no later than December 19, 2022."

Proposed jury instructions and a proposed verdict form are to be filed no later than Dec. 27.

Barnett, 62, faces seven charges. Among them, he is charged with taking a dangerous weapon -- a stun gun -- into the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, 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.

Cooper previously rejected a request by Barnett to move his trial to the Western District of Arkansas.

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 today.

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’s riot trial begins Jan. 9


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