Photo: Washington County Sheriff’s Office via AP
  /  04.28.2021

The Capitol rioter who was pictured with his feet on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk will be released from jail pending his upcoming trial.

According to CNN, a judge ruled on Tuesday (April 27) that Richard Barnett was not dangerous enough to have to stay behind bars. He will be released to home detention in Arkansas and will be under the surveillance of a GPS monitor. “Consider this a test,” Judge Christopher Cooper told Barnett on Tuesday. The judge said he looked at the rioter’s potential to be dangerous, including his behavior during the Jan. 6 insurrection, but decided that the Justice Department didn’t show enough evidence to keep him in jail.

On Wednesday (April 28), Joseph D. McBride, Barnett’s lawyer, told CNN that no formal discussions about a guilty plea have taken place and his client has “zero interest” in a preliminary offer that was proposed.

Barnett pleaded not guilty to several charges, including unlawfully entering a restricted area with a weapon, theft of public property and violent entry. Back in January, he was taken into custody in his home state of Arkansas after several images circulated of him inside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

Photos of the 60-year-old inside Pelosi’s office went viral on social media. He had his feet kicked up on her desk and he also left a threatening note on one of her folders, which read, “WE WILL NOT BACK DOWN.”

After exiting the Capitol building, Barnett was later seen outside holding an envelope that he stole from Pelosi’s office. In a video, he bragged about taking the mail, but claims he didn’t steal it. “I left a quarter on her desk,” he told a news outlet.

According to prosecutors, Barnett could face nearly six years or more in prison if convicted.


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