Editors Note: This story has been updated to reflect that the trial begins January 9. A previous version of this story contained incorrect information. We regret the error.
WASHINGTON (KNWA/KFTA) — The government filed a motion asking a federal court to preclude the defense from submitting what it calls “irrelevant evidence” in the trial of a Gravette man facing charges for his actions during the January 6 insurrection.
Richard Barnett, 62, has a trial date set for January 9. In a January 2 motion, the prosecution asked the court to “preclude the defendant from introducing evidence or argument related to the culpability of other participants in the January 2, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol.”
“He is not charged with conspiracy. Nor is he charged together with any codefendants. The government seeks to hold the defendant accountable for his conduct alone.”
Government Motion In Limine, USA vs. Richard Barnett, January 2
The filing noted that pretrial disclosures suggest that Barnett’s legal team “intends to advance a defense that he is not guilty as a result of the relative conduct and culpability of others.” It added that the defense has provided notice that it plans to use expert testimony “as to the defendant’s culpability relative to others at the Capitol on January 6.”
The motion also said that multiple defense exhibits intended to be submitted as evidence “highlight the conduct of other particular individuals present at the Capitol on January 6, including identifying others by name and highlighting their individual actions.” The document included a series of screenshots of defense exhibits that highlighted multiple people, none of whom are Barnett.
“Only evidence that is relevant may be admitted at trial,” the government stated. “It is well-established that the possible guilt of others is no defense to a criminal charge, and a jury may not consider whether anyone else should be prosecuted during its deliberations.”
The motion then cited specific examples, including jury instructions in other cases, supporting that. It concluded by saying that “efforts to introduce such evidence can only be designed to either unfairly prejudice the jury by creating confusion, garner sympathy for a ‘lesser’ participant in the riot like the defendant, or support a bid for jury nullification.” It asked for all such evidence to be excluded.
Barnett is charged with: civil disorder, 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.