Judge: Barnett’s ankle monitor stays on until July 31

Ankle device to stay on until July 31

The E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse in Washington is shown in this Oct. 11, 2019 file photo. The federal courthouse was the site of Richard "Bigo" Barnett's 2023 trial for his actions at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP/Susan Walsh)
The E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse in Washington is shown in this Oct. 11, 2019 file photo. The federal courthouse was the site of Richard "Bigo" Barnett's 2023 trial for his actions at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP/Susan Walsh)


Richard "Bigo" Barnett of Gravette will have his ankle monitor removed July 31, the day before he is to self-report to prison for his role in the Capitol riot, a federal judge in the District of Columbia ruled Friday morning.

In a motion filed Thursday, Jonathan Gross, Barnett's attorney, asked the court to allow the probation office to schedule a date between July 21 and July 31 to remove the ankle monitor, which Barnett has been wearing for over two years while he was under home detention.

Barnett's probation officer in Arkansas doesn't believe he is a flight risk, according to Gross.

"In the past two years, the Defendant has no violations of his conditions of release," wrote Gross. "Given the Defendant's history of compliance and that his self-surrender date is just 12 days from the filing of this motion, the Probation Officer does not have concerns that the removal of the ankle monitor prior to the self-surrender date will have any impact on the Defendant's compliance with his scheduled self-surrender."

In an order Friday morning, U.S. District Judge Christopher R. Cooper wrote that he was "granting in part and denying in part" the motion regarding the ankle monitor.

"Mr. Barnett shall have his ankle monitor removed on July 31, 2023," wrote Cooper, without providing additional details.

After a two-week trial in January, a federal court jury in Washington, D.C., found Barnett guilty on all eight charges filed against him -- four felonies and four misdemeanors.

Barnett, 63, faced enhanced charges for taking a dangerous weapon -- a stun gun -- into the Capitol during the riot of Jan. 6, 2021. While there, Barnett posed for photographs with his foot on a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office suite.

The jury also found Barnett guilty of interfering with a police officer who was trying to perform his duties during a civil disorder.

After serving about four months in the District of Columbia jail, Barnett was released on his own recognizance in April 2021 and has remained free since then, with some restrictions to his movement.

On Jan. 23, after the jury returned with its verdict, Cooper ruled that Barnett could remain free on the current conditions of his release.

"It would not be wise or prudent for you to violate those conditions or not show up for your sentencing," the judge said.

"Yes, sir, I understand," said Barnett.

On May 24, Cooper sentenced Barnett to 4½ years in prison. Gross said Barnett will be given credit for four months he served in the D.C. jail.

After he is released from prison, Barnett will be on supervised release for three years. He was also ordered to pay $2,000 restitution.

Barnett has appealed his conviction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and requested a public defender to represent him there.

In Thursday's motion, Gross wrote that the D.C. probation office had denied a request to set a date to remove Barnett's ankle monitor.

The probation office in Arkansas is responsible for the cost of the ankle monitor if it is not removed, according to the filing.

"Based on prior experience, the best way to ensure that the United States Probation Office does not incur the cost of the ankle monitor is to arrange for the monitor to be removed before Defendant's self-surrender," wrote Gross.

Court filings don't indicate the prison to which Barnett has been assigned, and the federal Bureau of Prisons doesn't release that information before a prisoner arrives at the designated facility.


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