The 38-year-old Florida man who carried the ‘Trump 2020’ flag while storming the Capitol is jailed for eight months
Capitol rioter, 38, gets first heavy sentence of January 6 siege and gets eight months in prison
- Paul Hodgkins pleaded guilty to obstructing official proceedings
- Hodgkins apologized for his actions on January 6, saying he was ashamed
- Trump supporter initially risked up to 20 years in prison
- Hodgkins’ lawyer argued for no jail time, while prosecutors demanded 18 months in prison, saying he contributed to the collective threat to democracy.”
A Florida man who violated the United States Senate Chamber with a “Trump 2020” campaign flag was sentenced Monday to eight months in prison, the first solution to a crime in the Capitol uprising.
Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, apologized and said he was ashamed of his actions on Jan. 6. Speaking calmly from a prepared statement, he described being caught up in euphoria as he walked down Washington’s most famous avenue, then followed a crowd of hundreds. Capitol Hill and the Capitol Building.
‘If I had any idea that the protest would… escalate’ [the way] it did . . . I would never have gone further than the Pennsylvania Avenue sidewalk,” Hodgkins told the judge. He added: “This was a foolish decision on my part.”
In this file image of the US Capitol Police video, Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, of Tampa, Florida, stands front, in the pit on the floor of the US Senate on January 6. Hodgkins was sentenced Monday to eight months in prison
Prosecutors had asked Hodgkins to serve 18 months behind bars, saying in a recent file that he, “like any rioter, has contributed to the collective threat to democracy” by forcing lawmakers to temporarily suspend their certification of Joe Biden’s election victory over President Donald. to be given up in 2020. Trump and to take shelter from incoming crowds.
Hodgkins brought a first aid kit, stayed in the Senate chamber for 15 minutes, and took a selfie, which later went viral.
“Although you were only one member of a larger crowd, you were actively participating in a larger event that threatened the Capitol and democracy itself,” Judge Randolph Moss of U.S. District Court Hodgkins said in the courtroom Monday.
“The damage done that way was much more than a few hours of delay in voting certification. It is damage that will continue in this country for decades to come.’
Hodgkins’ conviction could set the bar for the sentences of hundreds of other defendants who decide whether to accept plea deals or go to court.
He and others are charged with serious crimes, but were not charged, as some have been, for roles in larger conspiracies.
Under an agreement with prosecutors, Hodgkins pleaded guilty last month to one charge of obstructing official proceedings, which carries a prison term of up to 20 years. In return, the prosecutors agreed to drop lower charges, including entering a prohibited building and disorderly conduct.
Video footage shows Hodgkins wearing a “Trump 2020” T-shirt, flag over his shoulder and glasses around his neck, in the Senate. He took a selfie with a self-proclaimed shaman in a horned helmet and other rioters on stage behind him.
His attorney begged Judge Randolph Moss to save his client time in prison, saying that the shame Hodgkins will feel for the rest of his life should be considered punishment.
The attorney argued in court documents that Hodgkins’ actions were not much different from those of Anna Morgan Lloyd – except that Hodgkins entered the Senate floor.
The 49-year-old from Indiana was the first of about 500 arrested to be convicted. She pleaded guilty to felony disorderly conduct and was sentenced to three years’ probation last month.
Hodgkins was never accused of assaulting anyone or damaging property. And prosecutors said he deserves some leniency because he almost immediately took responsibility and pleaded guilty to the obstruction charge.
“I can say without a doubt that I am truly sorry for my actions, not because I have to face the consequences, but because of the damage that day’s incident caused and the way this country I love is hurt,” said the Florida. said the man during his sentencing.