Jan 17, 2023 - News

Government witnesses testify against Arkansas' Jan. 6 rioter

Richard 'Bigo' Barnett (L) arrives at the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse for jury selection in his trial on January 10, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Richard Barnett (left) arrives at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse for jury selection in his trial on Jan. 10 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The trial for a man photographed inside the office of former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021 — Richard "Bigo" Barnett of Gravette — began last week.

State of play: Barnett faces eight charges, including theft of government property, civil disorder and obstructing an official proceeding — Congress' meeting to certify the Electoral College count for the 2020 presidential election.

Catch up quick: Here's what's happened at the trial so far:

  • Barnett and his legal team arrived at a federal court in Washington, D.C., and jury selection took place Monday, Jan. 9.
  • Emily Berret, who worked in Pelosi's office at the time, testified Tuesday that she found a note written by Barnett on her desk after the event.
  • Gerald Stutte, who works at the Bass Pro Shop in Rogers, where the stun gun was purchased, testified Wednesday. Jurors saw video of Barnett buying the weapon, pepper spray and two-way radios on Dec. 31, 2020. The weapon has not been recovered.
  • Capt. Carneysha Mendoza of the U.S. Capitol Police also testified Wednesday about her experience during the riot and the police directive that prohibits stun guns at the Capitol.
  • Two officers, along with a Secret Service agent, a hotel employee and Billy Pennington, owner of the Little Rock company that makes the weapon, took the stand Thursday.
  • Pennington said that although the stun gun can deliver a 950,000-volt shock, it's not enough to kill a person.
  • The Secret Service agent, Elizabeth Glavey, testified about Vice President Mike Pence's presence at the Capitol during the riot.
  • The hotel employee saw Barnett demonstrate how the stun gun works in the bar of the Hyatt House hotel the evening before the riot.
  • On Friday, jurors saw body cam footage of Barnett yelling at Terrence Craig of the Metropolitan Police Department. Barnett was seeking to reclaim an American flag reportedly attached to a steel pole he left in Pelosi's office.
  • Craig testified that Barnett threatened him but didn't strike.

Of note: While many people linked to the Jan. 6 insurrection have already faced trial, Barnett's legal proceeding comes more than two years after the riot.

What's next: The government is expected to rest its case after testimony today. Barnett's defense will then present witnesses.


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