WASHINGTON (KNWA/KFTA) — An Arkansas man photographed sitting at a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday turned down the government’s office of a plea deal in the case.
Richard Barnett, 61, of Gravette, Arkansas, reject the deal stemming from his alleged participation in the riot.
In a virtual pre-trial hearing Tuesday, prosecutor Mary Dohrmann informed the court that the government had presented an offer in which Barnett would plead guilty to one charge, with the others being dismissed.
Defense attorney Joseph McBride said the defense could not accept the offer “in good conscience.” He cited Barnett’s age and the sentencing guideline of 70 to 87 months for the charge in question as factors in the decision to reject the offer.
“He wasn’t violent that day by any stretch of the imagination,” the defense counsel added.
Judge Chris Cooper quickly acknowledged the rejection, noting that the court itself has no role when such an offer is made.
“It takes two to tango,” Judge Cooper said, referring to the prosecution and the defense. He noted that he has been involved in other insurrection cases that have already reached plea agreements.
The call ended with Cooper saying that he would “sit back and wait for any motions” before the next pretrial conference. The defense previously requested an extension to deal with a “voluminous amount” of discovery material.
Barnett faces the following charges:
- obstruction of an official proceeding
- aiding and abetting
- entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon
- disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon
- entering and remaining in certain rooms in the Capitol building
- disorderly conduct in a Capitol building
- parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building
- theft of government property.
He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, and a trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 6.
According to the Associated Press, more than 700 people were arrested after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and more than 160, have reached plea deals.
A Proud Boys leader, 34-year-old Charles Donohue, recently pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and one count of assaulting, resisting or impeding a law enforcement officer, The Hill reports.
The man photographed carrying Pelosi’s lectern in the Capitol, Adam Johnson, was sentenced to 75 days in prison earlier this year.