WASHINGTON (AP) — A Florida antheral who breached the U.S. Senate enclosure carrying a Trump run emblem was sentenced Monday to 8 months down bars, the archetypal solution for a felony lawsuit successful the Capitol insurrection.
Paul Allard Hodgkins apologized and said helium was ashamed of his actions connected Jan 6. Speaking calmly from a prepared text, helium described being caught up successful the euphoria arsenic helium walked down Washington’s astir celebrated avenue, past followed a assemblage of hundreds up Capitol Hill and into the Capitol building.
“If I had immoderate thought that the protestation … would escalate (the way) it did … I would ne'er person ventured farther than the sidewalk of Pennsylvania Avenue,” Hodgkins told the judge. He added: “This was a foolish determination connected my part.”
Prosecutors had asked for Hodgkins to service 18 months down bars, saying successful a caller filing that he, “like each rioter, contributed to the corporate menace to democracy” by forcing lawmakers to temporarily wantonness their certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 predetermination triumph implicit President Donald
Trump and to scramble for structure from incoming mobs.
His sentencing could acceptable the barroom for punishments of hundreds of different defendants arsenic they determine whether to judge plea deals oregon spell to trial. He and others are accused of superior crimes but were not indicted, arsenic immoderate others were, for roles successful larger conspiracies.
Under an statement with prosecutors, Hodgkins pleaded blameworthy past period to 1 number of obstructing an authoritative proceeding, which carries a maximum 20-year situation sentence. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to driblet lesser charges, including entering a restricted gathering and disorderly conduct.
Video footage shows Hodgkins wearing a Trump 2020 T-shirt, the emblem flung implicit his enarthrosis and oculus goggles astir his neck, wrong the Senate. He took a selfie with a self-described shaman successful a horned helmet and different rioters connected the dais down him.
His lawyer pleaded with Judge Randolph Moss to spare his 38-year-old lawsuit clip successful prison, saying the shame that volition connect to Hodgkins for the remainder of his beingness should beryllium factored successful arsenic punishment.
The lawyer argued successful tribunal papers that Hodgkins’ actions weren’t markedly antithetic from those of Anna Morgan Lloyd — different than Hodgkins stepping onto the Senate floor. The 49-year-old from Indiana was the archetypal of astir 500 arrested to beryllium sentenced. She pleaded blameworthy to misdemeanor disorderly behaviour and past period was sentenced to 3 years of probation.
Hodgkins was ne'er accused of assaulting anyone oregon damaging property. And prosecutors said helium deserves immoderate leniency for taking work astir instantly and pleading blameworthy to the obstruction charge.
But they besides noted however helium boarded a autobus successful his hometown of Tampa bound for a Jan. 6 Trump rally carrying rope, protective goggles and latex gloves successful a backpack — saying that demonstrated helium came to Washington prepared for violence.
On the day, helium walked done grounds already littered with smashed constabulary barriers and breached windows, evening passing constabulary officers and others injured arsenic the assemblage surged toward the Capitol, prosecutors said.
“Time and clip again, alternatively than crook astir and retreat, Hodgkins pressed forward,” the authorities filing said.
Hodgkins’ lawyer, Patrick N. Leduc, described his lawsuit arsenic an different law-abiding American who, contempt surviving successful a poorer portion of Tampa, regularly volunteered astatine a nutrient bank. He noted that Hodgkins had been an Eagle Scout.
His actions connected Jan. 6 “is the communicative of a antheral who for conscionable 1 hr connected 1 time mislaid his bearings … who made a fateful determination to travel the crowd,” the lawyer said.
Leduc’s 33-page presentencing filing devotes respective pages to the Civil War, highlighting Abraham Lincoln’s calls for reconciliation weeks earlier his assassination.
“The tribunal has a accidental to emulate Lincoln,” helium wrote.
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