A Florida man who breached the Senate chamber on Jan. 6 was sentenced to eight months behind bars on Monday — within the first punishment handed to a Capitol rioter for a felony plea.
Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, apologized to the court docket, saying that he was ashamed of his actions and had gotten caught up within the second when he joined the mob within the Capitol constructing.
“If I had any concept that the protest … would escalate (the way in which) it did … I’d by no means have ventured farther than the sidewalk of Pennsylvania Avenue,” Hodgkins informed the decide, including, “This was a silly resolution on my half.”
Prosecutors had requested for him to serve 18 months, arguing in a current submitting that Hodgkins “like every rioter, contributed to the collective risk to democracy” by forcing lawmakers to briefly halt their certification of President Biden’s election victory.
Hodgkins was seen on movies and photographs of the siege holding a “Trump 2020” flag over his shoulder on the Senate flooring. He was additionally carrying a “Trump 2020” T-shirt and goggles round his neck as he took selfies with different rioters on the dais behind him.
The Tampa man pleaded responsible final month to 1 depend of obstructing an official continuing — which carries a most 20-year jail sentence — after prosecutors agreed to drop the 4 misdemeanor counts towards him.
His lawyer has requested US District Choose Randolph Moss to not ship Hodgkins to jail, saying the disgrace connected to him for taking part within the siege ought to be punishment sufficient.
“No matter punishment this court docket might present will pale compared to the scarlet letter Mr. Hodgkins will put on for the remainder of his life,” Patrick N. Leduc wrote in a current submitting, referencing the Nathaniel Hawthorne novel “The Scarlet Letter.”
The decide famous that arising with a sentence was difficult as a result of there was no current benchmark for the court docket to use.
“The court docket right here needed to take into account each what I believe are the extraordinarily damaging occasions that occurred that day but additionally who Mr. Hodgkins is as a person,” Moss mentioned. “And as I believe is mirrored by the sentencing I imposed, I attempted to strike that stability.”
Hodgkins will give up to the Bureau of Prisons at a later date.
His sentencing may set the bar for the punishments of lots of of different defendants, ought to they select to cop plea offers or go to trial. In contrast to Hodgkins, a number of the others have been indicted for his or her roles in bigger conspiracies tied to the rebellion.
With Put up wires