Man who sat at Pelosi's desk during January 6 riot sentenced to 4.5 years in prison

"They want me to be remorseful for things I did not do."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

The man photographed on January 6 placing his feet on former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk at the Capitol has been sentenced to 4 and a half years in prison.

Arkansas man Richard "Bigo" Barnett was sentenced on Wednesday, and was convicted earlier this year of eight counts including civil disorder, theft of government property, and obstruction of an official proceeding, according to CBS News.

Judge Christopher Cooper of the US District Court for the District of Columbia handed down the 54 month sentence to the retired firefighter, dismissing Barnett's claims that he was involuntarily pushed into the Capitol and that he had no intention of impeding Congress.

Addressing the court on Wednesday, Barnett said he was "not proud" of his conduct, arguing that it was not "threatening."

"They want me to be remorseful for things I did not do," he said, adding that he has plans to appeal his conviction.

"This was an enigma in my life," he said, asking for a probation sentence. "Jan. 6 was a traumatic day for everyone ... I admit I was angry and I apologize for that."

Prosecutors said that Barnett played a "very important role" in delaying Congress' certification of the 2020 election, adding "we are not here because he was on the front of the New York Times."

After being forced outside of the Capitol, inside which the infamous photo was taken, prosecutors said Barnett "bragged" about his entry into Pelosi's office. He "immediately began celebrating his conquests."

According to NBC News, Barnett's lawyers argued that he shouldn't receive more than a 6 month sentence.

"Mr. Barnett is 62-year-old retired firefighter and bull rider from rural Arkansas who came to DC for his very first time to peacefully protest and was unfortunately caught up in the events that turned an ordinary Wednesday into what will forever be known as 'January 6,'" his lawyers said.

Prosecutors asked for Barnett to be sentenced to seven years behind bars.


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