A man who was photographed with a foot on a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during the U.S. Capitol riot has been released from jail.
A judge determined on Tuesday that 60-year-old Richard Barnett’s case no longer met the threshold to keep him detained leading up to his trial date.
After a federal magistrate judge in Arkansas initially approved Barnett’s release to home confinement, Washington District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell halted and later overturned the release order.
But after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on March 26 in a similar case that a mother and son accused of bringing a stun gun into the Capitol during the riot did not pose a significant enough threat to warrant further pretrial detention, Judge Christopher “Casey” Cooper released Barnett to home confinement on Tuesday.
Barnett has been charged with one felony count of entering the Capitol with a dangerous weapon for allegedly bringing a stun gun in during the riot and misdemeanor counts of unlawful entry to a restricted building, disorderly conduct, and theft.
“The notion that the events of Jan. 6 were a legitimate or excusable social protest against ruling elites or worse yet a reaction to some people in society feeling that they have been unfairly scapegoated for racism is, in a word, absurd,” Cooper warned.
A photo of Barnett posing in the speaker’s office went viral, along with a picture of him later holding a piece of her mail. Prosecutors also said Barnett left a note with an apparently misspelled B-word expletive, although the defense disagrees about what it said, according to the Washington Post.
In a December Facebook post, Barnett wrote that he “came into this world kicking and screaming, covered in someone else’s blood,” multiple outlets reported. He added, “I’m not afraid to go out the same way.”