WASHINGTON (KNWA/KFTA) — A Gravette man convicted on eight federal charges for his participation in the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol has cut ties with two members of his legal team as he continues to seek an acquittal or a new trial.
Richard “BigO” Barnett, 62, was convicted by a federal jury on January 23. On February 5, he submitted a pair of filings to the court.
The first was a motion for a new trial pursuant to the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure Rule 33. The second motion was made pursuant to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 29.
Since then, three members of Barnett’s defense team filed motions with the court to withdraw as counsel in his case. On April 5, the defense submitted a notice to the court updating the status of Barnett’s defense, saying that two of his four attorneys will continue on with his case.
“Mr. Barnett has since decided to terminate his attorney-client relationship with attorneys McBride and Stewart,” the notice said, referring to Joseph McBride and Carol Stewart. “He has chosen to proceed with attorneys Geyer and Gross.”
The notice continued by stating that attorney Bradford Geyer has “extensive experience with criminal history in the federal system and with January 6 defendants in particular.” Defense attorney Jonathan Gross also represented Barnett during the trial.
Geyer had filed a motion to leave the case, but he has withdrawn that request. The judge granted the motions to withdraw from McBride and Stewart.
“Mr. Geyer has informed undersigned counsel that he remains convinced of Mr. Barnett’s
innocence and withdraws his request to withdraw based [on] the Court’s comments and based on Mr. Barnett’s decision,” the notice said. It added that the attorneys agree that the new arrangement “fully satisfies Mr. Barnett’s defense requirements and is in the interests of justice.”
Geyer also stated that he will remain as counsel through a Notice of Appeal, if necessary.
Barnett’s sentencing is scheduled for May 3. Judge Christopher R. Cooper said that the hearing could potentially be delayed due to the shuffling of Barnett’s team.