An Arkansas man who entered the US Capitol with rioters on January 6, 2021 and was pictured lying at a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office suite was found guilty of eight federal crimes on Monday related to the incursion.
Richard “Bigo” Barnett, now 62, who left a rude written message for Pelosi before leaving the office with a stolen envelope bearing the California Democrat’s digital signature, sat impassive as a jury of the United States District Court in Washington rendered its decisions.
After nine days of testimony and legal arguments at trial, the panel began deliberating Monday morning and returned guilty verdicts on all eight counts against Barnett, including four felonies, in less than two hours.
The most serious charge he has faced, obstructing official government process, carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. But the advisory sentencing guidelines used by the court are likely to recommend a much shorter sentence in his case.
Although a prosecutor argued that Barnett should be jailed pending his sentencing, scheduled for May 3, Judge Christopher R. Cooper allowed him to remain under house arrest in his small hometown in the Ozarks.
Barnett, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, carried a cane fitted with a high-voltage stun device as he entered the Capitol. Congress was meeting that day to confirm President Biden’s victory in the November election, despite Trump’s denied claims that he had been denied re-election due to massive voter fraud.
In addition to obstructing an official process, Barnett was convicted of two felonies related to carrying a dangerous weapon in the Capitol and one felony civil disorder charge. The four misdemeanors for which he was convicted included stealing government property, i.e. the envelope.