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Barnett wants 3 months to prepare for prison

Jan. 6 rioter wants 3 months to get home affairs in order by Bill Bowden | May 26, 2023 at 5:15 a.m.
FILE - Richard Barnett, an Arkansas man who was photographed with his feet on a desk in former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office during the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot, arrives at federal court in Washington, Jan. 10, 2023. Barnett was sentenced Wednesday, May 24, 2023, to more than four years in prison. U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper said that Barnett became one of the faces of the Jan. 6 riot, and at times he seemed to enjoy the notoriety. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

WASHINGTON -- A Gravette man wants three months to "arrange for his affairs" before he reports to prison to begin serving a 4½-year sentence for his role in the U.S. Capitol riot of Jan. 6, 2021.

Richard "Bigo" Barnett, 63, was sentenced on Wednesday in federal court in the District of Columbia.

Jonathan Gross, his attorney, said Barnett will be given credit for four months he has already served in the District of Columbia jail.

In a court filing late Wednesday, Gross wrote that Barnett needs time "to liquidate personal property and try to earn some extra income" to help his significant other, who is disabled.

"Additionally, he needs to do repairs to her home to make sure everything is in working order and other miscellaneous projects that will be unduly burdensome on her as she is not in a financial position to hire someone to do these projects," wrote Gross.

After a two-week trial in January, a jury found Barnett guilty of all eight charges -- four felonies and four misdemeanors. He faced enhanced charges for taking a dangerous weapon, a stun gun, into the Capitol.

While there, he posed for photographs with his foot on a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office suite, then interfered with a police officer in the Capitol Rotunda.

In the sentencing hearing on Wednesday, Barnett said he will appeal his conviction.

In a meeting later Wednesday, a Pretrial Services representative told Barnett that it's not uncommon for a defendant to be granted up to 90 days to self-surrender, according to Gross' motion.

"Now that Mr. Barnett knows the extent of time of this sentence, he respectfully requests that this Court recommend to the Board of Prisons that Mr. Barnett's date of surrender be not sooner than August 22, 2023," wrote Gross.

At the end of Wednesday's hearing, Gross told the court that Barnett's first choice would be the minimum-security federal prison camp in Yankton, S.D., which has a dog-training program. His second and third choices were the minimum-security prison camps in Pensacola, Fla., and Montgomery, Ala.

U.S. District Judge Christopher R. Cooper told Barnett going to prison wasn't like choosing a hotel, but he would recommend the prisons that Barnett requested, noting that the Bureau of Prisons may not follow his recommendation.

The Pretrial Services representative also told Barnett that the Bureau of Prisons doesn't usually support a placement recommendation that is over 500 miles away from the defendant's residence, according to Gross.

All three of Barnett's requested prisons are farther than that from Gravette.

"Because of his age, Mr. Barnett is seeking a minimum security prison camp with no violent offenders and with work and psychological programs," wrote Gross. "However, after researching the matter Mr. Barnett could not find any appropriate facilities within 500 miles from where Mr. Barnett lives in Northwest Arkansas.

"Because of the absence of appropriate facilities within 500 miles, the Defendant respectfully requests that the Court make a recommendation that the Board of Prisons allow for a placement outside of 500 miles from Mr. Barnett's residence. Any facility beyond 500 miles would be considered with your recommendation. For example, Mr. Barnett's first choice in Yankton, South Dakota is approximately 545 miles away, and the others are also outside of 500 miles."

Print Headline: Barnett requests delay for prison


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