"Bigo" Barnett is scheduled for trial on Jan. 9, 2023. Matthew Rosenberg on Twitter

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling Friday could give January 6 Capitol rioter Richard “Bigo” Barnett of Gravette reason to hope he will get out of prison sooner than expected, but he might not want to celebrate yet.

That’s despite this tweet Barnett posted on social media shortly after the ruling:


Barnett is in prison in Seagoville, Texas, so someone else — perhaps his wife or another relative — apparently made the post.

Barnett became notorious for a picture in which he posed with one of his feet propped on a desk in then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. Authorities said he carried a stun gun into the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, where rioters were protesting Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.


The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 Friday that the federal government had overstepped its authority when it used an obstruction law to charge an off-duty Pennsylvania police officer who joined in the Jan. 6 riots. Many — but not most — of the Capitol rioters were charged with the offense at issue, obstructing or impeding an official government proceeding.

Despite Barnett’s celebratory tweet, it’s not known yet if the ruling will lead to his early release. Federal court records show that the obstruction charge was just one of eight charges — four of them felonies — on which Barnett, 64, was convicted last year.


On that count alone, he was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison. But Barnett was sentenced to the same amount of time, all to run concurrently, on the three other felony charges: civil disorder, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon.

Still, Barnett recently had asked a federal appeals court to hold off on his appeal until the Supreme Court ruled on this very case. He’s now due for release Oct. 30, 2026.


Peter Stager, 44, another Arkansan still incarcerated over the riots, ended up entering a negotiated guilty plea last year to one count of assaulting police with a dangerous weapon. Prosecutors dismissed other charges against Stager, including felony counts of obstruction of an official proceeding and civil disorder.