An Arkansas man who was photographed during the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol protest with his feet propped on a desk in then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office was sentenced on Wednesday to four and a half years in prison.
In January 2023, Richard “Bigo” Barnett was found guilty on all eight counts in his indictment, including felony charges of civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding.
Federal prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Barnett to more than seven years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his actions during the January 6 protest.
He was ultimately sentenced to four and a half years in prison and three years of supervised release.
One of the most memorable images from the events on Jan. 6, 2021, was Barnett lounging at a desk in Pelosi’s office.
The protest happened on the same day Congress convened during a joint session to certify President Biden’s electoral victory.
During the trial, Barnett testified that he was looking for a bathroom inside the Capitol when he unintentionally entered Pelosi’s office and encountered two news photographers.
He claimed one of the photographers told him to “act natural,” so he kicked back in a chair and put his legs onto the desk.
Defense attorney Joseph McBride asked Bennett if it dawned on him that what he was doing could cause some trouble.
“I was just in the moment,” Barnett replied. “I’m just kind of going with the flow at this point.”
Prosecutors also said Barnett was armed with a stun gun in his pants when he stormed the Capitol and raided Pelosi’s office. Once he was in the office, prosecutors said, Barnett took a piece of Pelosi’s mail and left a note saying, “Nancy, Bigo was here.”
As he left the Capitol building grounds, Barnett gave a speech to the crowd, using a bullhorn, shouting, “We took back our house, and I took Nancy Pelosi’s office,” prosecutors said.
More than 940 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Jan. 6 attack, 500 of whom have pleaded guilty.
Barnett is one of several dozen defendants whose case went to trial.
Barnett, 62, is a retired firefighter from Gravette, Arkansas. He said he regrets coming to Washington for the “Stop the Steal” rally where then-President Donald Trump addressed a crowd of supporters.