FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Arkansas resident Richard Barnett had an initial appearance on Tuesday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas and was charged with knowingly entering a restricted building or grounds with a weapon (stun gun), violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and theft of public property.

The hearing was held through a video conference due to COVID-19 in Fayetteville on Tuesday afternoon, January 12.

Richard Barnett, 60, from Gravette, Arkansas appeared in federal court via zoom on January 12. Artist: John Kushmaul

Fayetteville Chief Magistrate Judge Erin Wiedemann presided and informed the defendant of the charges.

The preliminary hearing will be on Friday, January 15, at 12:30 p.m. via Zoom. Barnett will remain jailed until Friday’s hearing where it will be determined if bail is an option.

First Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas Clay Fowlkes is the prosecutor on this case.

Barnett faces 11 years 6 months in federal prison and a $355,000 fine if convicted on all charges.


  • Knowingly inside a restricted building or on grounds with a weapon (stun gun). Up to 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. 
  • Violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Up to 6 months imprisonment and a $5,000 fine. 
  • Theft of public property. Up to 1-year imprisonment and a $100,000 fine.

Barnett was represented by New York attorney Anthony Siano.

The 60-year-old turned himself in at the Benton County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, January 8, after a photograph of him sitting in a chair with his left foot up on a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office went viral on social media. It only took a few hours before he was identified by several people as Richard “Bigo” Barnett.

TOPSHOT – Richard Barnett, a supporter of US President Donald Trump sits inside the office of US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as he protests inside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021. Demonstrators breached security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

The Benton County resident is the founder of 2A NWA!!! STAND, a 2nd Amendment rights group, based in Arkansas, according to online reports.

Barnett was interviewed by KNWA/FOX24 in November 2020 during a “Stop the Steal” rally in Bentonville. He supports President Trump’s claims of voter fraud and believes that cost him this election.