Judge allows Yellville Jan. 6 defendant to possess firearms while hunting

Jon Mott of Yellville can go hunting, a federal judge in the District of Columbia ruled Monday.

Mott, one of four Arkansas defendants charged on Jan. 6, asked the judge Friday to modify his bail conditions so he could use his guns for “subsistence hunting.”

A condition for Mott’s release pending trial was that he possess no firearms or dangerous weapons.

“Defendant, Jon Thomas Mott, is permitted to use his legally owned firearms to engage in the practice of subsistence hunting, and it is further ORDERED that Defendant does not maintain or store any firearms or ammunition at his residence or place of employment, and it is further ORDERED that the defendant must comply with all other conditions of his bail and those imposed by pre-trial release,” according to the order of US District Judge Royce C. Lamberth.

The January 6 riots turned from a “Stop the Steal” rally when some supporters of then-President Donald Trump entered the US Capitol and attempted to prevent Congress from certifying the Electoral College vote indicating that Joe Biden had won the presidential election.

Mott, 39, of Yellville faces four misdemeanor charges in connection with the events at the Capitol that day. He had pleaded not guilty.

On Friday, Mott’s attorney, Joseph W. Allen of Branson, Mo., filed a motion in the District of Columbia requesting that Mott’s bail conditions be modified to allow him to hunt. Mott has been free on bond since his initial arrest on May 13, 2021.

“The defendant continues to comply with the conditions of his release,” Allen wrote. “For most of his life, Defendant has participated in wildlife management conservation efforts through the practice of subsistence hunting. This practice also helps supplement the money Defendant spent on groceries for a estimated annual average of $5,000.00 in savings.”

Mott’s pretrial release officer had no objection to the request, Allen wrote, “other than to request clarification in the amended order that the defendant must not have firearms or ammunition in his residence or place of employment.” .

“Defendant is lawfully in possession of multiple firearms that he has previously used for subsistence hunting purposes which, pursuant to his bond conditions, are NOT in his possession at this time,” Allen wrote. “The defendant has never had any firearm-related charges.”

Modern gun deer and bear season kicks off in Arkansas on November 12, but it’s already hunting season for other game, including rabbits and squirrels.

No trial date has been set for Mott. He has a status conference scheduled for Thursday.

Richard “Bigo” Barnett, 62, of Gravette, and Peter Francis Stager, 43, of Conway are facing felony charges in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Stager remains in jail in the District of Columbia. He is the only Arkansas Jan. 6 defendant still incarcerated.

Mott, Barnett and Stager have pleaded not guilty.

Robert Thomas Snow, 78, of Heber Springs, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of “parading, demonstrating, or picketing the Capitol building.” He was sentenced to probation and community service.