Richard “Bigo” Barnett, known for a famous photo where his foot is on Nancy Pelosi’s desk, was given a 4.5-year prison sentence on Wednesday. This happened even though he said he didn’t mean to hurt anyone.
Arkansas Man Sentenced Over Pelosi Office Incident During Riot
Barnett, a retired firefighter hailing from the rural expanses of Arkansas, stood firm in court on Wednesday, asserting his actions during the infamous Capitol riot on January 6, 2021 did not bear a “threatening” undertone, as reported by CBS News.
However, U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper saw it differently, pronouncing a sentence of 54 months in prison for the 63-year-old.’
Jan. 6 rioter Richard Bigo Barnett gets 4.5 years in prison https://t.co/zXBdf7mT1q
— Jeff Davis🇺🇸(Dude) (@jeffleroydavis) May 26, 2023
Prosecutors elaborated that Barnett, armed with a stun gun and a ten-pound steel pole, stormed the Capitol building.
Not stopping at that, he navigated his way to Pelosi’s office where he scribbled a taunting note on an envelope: “Hey Nancy, Bigo was here, you b—ch.”
Barnett’s image, one showing him grinning impudently and leaning back in the then-Speaker’s chair, became a widely circulated symbol of the riot in media reportage.
Barnett Claims Non-Threatening Intent in Capitol Riot Sentencing
Following a trial, Barnett was convicted in January by a jury on eight charges; amongst them was the serious accusation of entering the building armed with a deadly weapon.
At his sentence hearing on Wednesday, Barnett’s lawyers asked for a sentence of less than six months. They said he went to Washington, D.C., for the first time to “peacefully protest,” but got “caught up” in what happened on January 6, as reported by NBC News.
On the other side of the courtroom, the prosecutors painted a contrasting picture.
They said Barnett not only disrespected the sanctity of the Capitol, but also threatened law enforcement officers and spurred on other rioters by declaring, “This is a war.”
Consequently, they requested a sentence of seven years in prison.
Richard "Bigo" Barnett, the man who put his feet on Nancy Pelosi’s desk on 1/6, has been sentenced to 4.5 years in prison and 3 years of supervised release. Federal prosecutors were asking the judge for 7 years in federal prison. These are the same prosecutors… pic.twitter.com/lOBShaTEpg
— 🇺🇸Travis🇺🇸 (@Travis_in_Flint) May 25, 2023
Addressing the judge, Barnett expressed he was “not proud” of his actions. However, he maintained his conduct was not “threatening,” while voicing a sentiment of having been treated unfairly.