Paul Allard Hodgkins apologized and said he was ashamed of his actions on January 6. Speaking calmly from a prepared text, he described being swept up in euphoria as he She walked down Washington’s most famous avenue, then followed the crowd of hundreds up Capitol Hill and into the Capitol building.
“If I had any idea that the protest … would escalate (in a way) it did… I would never have ventured further than the sidewalk of Pennsylvania Avenue,” Hodgkins said. tell the judge. He added: “This was a stupid decision on my part.”
Prosecutors asked Hodgkins to serve 18 months behind bars, saying in a recent filing that he, “like each rioter, contributed to a collective threat to democracy.” by forcing lawmakers to temporarily waive their endorsement of Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory over President Donald Trump and scramble for shelter from the oncoming crowds.
His sentence could set penalty thresholds for hundreds of other defendants as they decide whether to accept plea agreements or go to court. He and others were charged with serious crimes but were not charged, like some others, for roles in larger plots.
In agreement with prosecutors, Hodgkins pleaded guilty last month to one count of obstructing official proceedings, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. In return, prosecutors agreed to reduce lesser charges, including access to a restricted building and disorderly conduct.
The video shows Hodgkins wearing a Trump 2020 T-shirt, the flag waving over his shoulder and eyeglasses around his neck, inside the Senate. He took a selfie with a self-described shaman wearing a horned helmet and other beach rioters behind him.
His lawyer pleaded with Judge Randolph Moss to spare his 38-year-old client in prison, saying the shame that would haunt Hodgkins for the rest of his life should be seen as punishment.
Lawyers argued in court papers that Hodgkins’ actions were not markedly different from those of Anna Morgan Lloyd – except that Hodgkins stepped onto the Senate floor. The 49-year-old Indiana man was the first of about 500 people arrested for conviction. She pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct and was sentenced last month to three years’ probation.
Hodgkins was never charged with assaulting anyone or damaging property. And prosecutors said he deserved leniency for accepting responsibility almost immediately and pleading guilty to the obstruction charge.
But they also note how he boarded a bus in his hometown of Tampa to join a Trump rally on January 6 carrying ropes, protective goggles and rubber gloves in his backpack – saying that it proves he came to Washington to prepare for violence.
Prosecutors said that day he walked through grounds dotted with smashed police fences and broken windows, evening passing police officers and others injured as crowds crowded toward the Capitol, prosecutors said.
“Time and again, instead of turning around and retreating, Hodgkins moved forward,” government records said.
Hodgkins attorney, Patrick N. Leduc, describes his client as a law-abiding American who, despite living in a poorer area of Tampa, regularly volunteers at a food bank. He noted that Hodgkins had been an Eagle Scout.
His actions on January 6 “is the story of a man who in just an hour on a day lost his memory … who made the fateful decision to follow the crowd,” the lawyer said. to speak.
Leduc’s 33-page presentation devoted several pages to the Civil War, highlighting Abraham Lincoln’s calls for reconciliation a few weeks before his assassination.
“The court has an opportunity to imitate Lincoln,” he wrote.
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https://abc7chicago.com/us-capitol-riot-sentencing-paul-allard-hodgkins-sentences-donald-trump/10897199/ | Capitol rioter Paul Allard Hodgkins, Senate Violation Sentenced to 8 Months