WASHINGTON (KNWA/KFTA) — A Gravette man involved in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was denied a motion for acquittal and a new trial in a last-minute decision ahead of his sentencing.
Richard “BigO” Barnett, 63, was convicted by a federal jury on January 23.
A new court filing shows that an attempt for an acquittal or an entirely new trial was denied by the court just a day prior to Barnett’s scheduled sentencing, which is still set to occur today.
“After two weeks of trial, a jury convicted Mr. Barnett on eight counts related to his conduct that day. He now moves for a judgment of acquittal and, separately, for a new trial, raising a variety of challenges to each conviction,” the court filing said.
Barnett’s team claims that there was insufficient evidence for the conviction and that key government witnesses committed perjury.
“Barnett’s concerns raise, at best, minor issues of memory and perception that are appropriately addressed through cross-examination, not a new trial. Barnett was permitted to confront the government’s witnesses about these areas of testimony and often did so. It was for the jury to decide whether the testimony, corroborated by other evidence, justified a conviction,” U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper said in the filing.
“The court discerns no colorable credibility concerns on the part of the government’s witnesses, let alone a miscarriage of justice requiring reversal of the jury verdict,” Cooper added.
Prosecutors suggested last week that Barnett be sentenced to 70- to 87-months in prison, as well as three years of supervised release after Barnett gets out of prison, as well as a $25,000 fine.
Barnett’s legal team called the suggestion a “life sentence,” and countered that because he wasn’t violent during his time in the capitol, he should get little to no prison time.
“The Government’s relentless pursuit to punish Mr. Barnett left him no choice but to go to
trial because the Government’s plea offer was 70 months to 87 months, potentially 7 years in
prison, which at Mr. Barnett’s age would be a life sentence. The Government now ruthlessly
asks the Court to impose the maximum sentence of 87 months, a longer sentence than other
January 6 defendants who committed actual violence, assault, and destruction,” a court filing from the defense said.
The Arkansas man became one of the faces of the riot after he was photographed putting his feet up on a desk in former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office suite.