May 24, 2023 | 20:26
The judge says he didn’t have a leg to stand on.
A Capitol troublemaker caught in an infamous photo putting his foot on Nancy Pelosi’s desk was sentenced Wednesday to 4.5 years in prison — despite his claim that he meant no harm.
Richard “Bigo” Barnett — a retired firefighter from rural Arkansas who became a symbol of mayhem on Jan. 6 — insisted in court Wednesday that his actions on Jan. 6, 2021, were not meant to be “threatening,” according to CBS News.
But U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper disagreed, handing down 54 months behind bars.
Barnett, 63, stormed the Capitol building with a stun gun and a ten-pound steel bar, made his way to Pelosi’s office and wrote “Hey Nancy, Bigo was here you b—ch” on an envelope, according to prosecutors.
A photo of him laughing and leaning back disrespectfully in the lectern at the time was widely circulated in media reports of the riot.
Barnett was then convicted by a jury in January of eight charges, including entering the building with a deadly weapon.
At his sentencing Wednesday, Barnett’s lawyers asked for less than 6 months in prison — saying he came to Washington, DC for the first time to “peacefully protest and was unfortunately caught up in the events” of Jan. 6, according to NBC News.
Meanwhile, prosecutors — who said Barnett also threatened police and egged on other rioters by declaring, “This is a war” — asked for 7 years behind bars.
Barnett told the judge he was “not proud” of his behavior but insisted it was not “threatening” while claiming he was treated unfairly.
“They want me to regret things I didn’t do,” he said, adding that he plans to appeal his conviction.
Barnett was convicted earlier this year of eight charges, including civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding and theft of public property.