WASHINGTON (KNWA/KFTA) — As a Gravette man’s trial for his actions during the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol continues, his defense has filed a motion seeking to exclude potential testimony from a Capitol police officer.
Richard Barnett, 62, is facing eight federal charges for his actions during the riot in Washington. A jury was seated and opening arguments in his trial began on January 10.
On January 11, the defense filed a motion in limine to preclude “irrelevant and highly prejudicial testimony that serves no probative value” from U.S. Capitol Police Captain Carneysha Mendoza. The filing noted that the defense originally objected when the government said during a pretrial conference that Mendoza would be “a fact witness to provide context for the entirety of the U.S. Capitol grounds on January 6, 2021.”
“The Defense stated that she should only be allowed to testify as to relevant facts directly related to Mr. Barnett,” the motion stated. “She has none.”
The filing continued by noting that the government estimated there would be two to three hours of testimony from Mendoza, which the defense said “indicated that Mendoza would not be limited to testifying to first-hand factual information that could be relevant or of any probative value in this case.”
The motion added that Mendoza previously served as a witness before the January 6th Select committee and testified about events where Barnett was not present. The request continued by claiming that Mendoza “provided irrelevant and highly prejudicial testimony about an injury she alleges she suffered on January 6, 2021; along with hearsay from her about injuries to others.”
“Captain Mendoza previously gave testimony unrelated to the facts for cases at hand, while having no first-hand view of what she testified about.”
Defense motion in limine to preclude testimony from USCP officer, USA vs. Barnett, January 11
“The prosecution intends to illegitimately use her testimony to have the jury believe it should convict Mr. Barnett based on the acts of others,” the motion added. It also said that the defense “has not been afforded time to research all of global discovery to find records where she reported injury, or any was substantiated.”
The filing concluded by saying that Mendoza should be precluded from offering opinions because she is not an expert witness.
Barnett is charged with: obstruction of an official proceeding; aiding and abetting; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; entering and remaining in certain rooms in the Capitol Building; disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building; parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol Building; theft of government property.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. His trial resumed on January 11.