A Capitol rioter was sentenced to 8 months in prison on Monday, the first felony sentence imposed on a participant in the attack since January 6.
Paul Allard Hodgkins had pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, which carries a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison.
U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss ordered the sentence in a hearing, saying he was encouraged by Hodgkins’s remorse over his participation in the riot, but called the events on January 6 “chilling.”
“Democracy requires the cooperation of the government,” Moss said. “When a mob is prepared to attack the Capitol to prevent our elected officials of both parties from performing their constitutional and statutory duty, democracy is in trouble. The damage that Mr. Hodgkins and others caused that day is way beyond a several-hour delay in certification [of the election]. It is damage that will persist in this country for decades.”
Federal prosecutors had recommended an 18-month prison sentence for Hodgkins, acknowledging that he had been working to accept responsibility for his actions that day, but that he had been a willing and active participant in the riot.
While Hodgkins was not accused of carrying out any of the violence that rocked the Capitol on January 6, prosecutors pointed out that he entered the complex, and even the Senate chamber, carrying a “Trump 2020,” latex gloves, protective eye goggles and rope.
According to court documents, Hodgkins had traveled from Tampa, Fla., to attend former President Trump’s rally over his baseless claims of election fraud.
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