Barnett defense seeks more time
Date sought for appeal brief
Richard “Bigo” Barnett’s public defender wants three months to file his opening brief in Barnett’s appeal of his Capitol riot conviction. That’s based on “previously-set filing deadlines in other cases,” wrote Tony Axam Jr., an assistant federal public defender in Washington, D.C., who is serving as Barnett’s lead counsel for his appeal. Axam filed a report on Monday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit saying he has received all the pertinent transcripts from Barnett’s case. In Monday’s filing, Axam asked the court to set a briefing schedule in which Barnett’s opening brief will be due Feb. 20. Since Aug. 3 — two days after Barnett reported to prison — Axam has filed six transcript status reports indicating transcripts had been ordered but not received. Then, on Monday, he filed a final transcript report. “In support of this motion, appellant states that all transcripts necessary for this appeal have been received,” wrote Axam. “Given previously-set filing deadlines in other cases, counsel requests ninety days to prepare appellant’s opening brief.” Barnett is the Gravette man who posed for photos with his foot on a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office suite during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. In January, a federal court jury in the District of Columbia found Barnett guilty on all eight charges filed against him — four felonies and four misdemeanors. Barnett faced enhanced charges for taking a dangerous weapon — a stun gun — into the Capitol during the riot. The jury also found Barnett guilty of interfering with a police officer who was trying to perform his duties during a civil disorder. Barnett was sentenced in May to serve 4.5 years in prison. He self surrendered Aug. 1 to begin serving his term at a low-security federal prison in Oakdale, La. According to the federal Bureau of Prisons website, Barnett, 63, has a scheduled release date of Jan. 13, 2027. That would be more than a year shy of the 4½ years to which he was sentenced. The projected release date is sort of a best-case scenario. Barnett received credit for almost four months served in 2021 in the District of Columbia jail, and the projected release date also reflects the maximum of “good conduct” credit he can receive under the First Step Act of 2018, which amended 18 U.S.C. § 3624(b) so federal inmates can earn up to 54 days of good time credit for every year of their imposed sentence rather than for every year of their sentence served.