A Florida man who broke into the Senate chamber on January 6 is set to become the first Capitol rioter to be convicted of a felony on Monday.
The hearing by Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, in Washington, DC, could set the standard for punishments for hundreds of other defendants, if they choose to agree to plead guilty or go to trial.
Prosecutors want him to serve 18 months, arguing in a recent filing that Hodgkins “like every single rioter, contributed to a collective threat to democracy” by forcing lawmakers Legislature temporarily stopped certifying President Biden’s election victory.
Hodgkins was seen on videos and photos of the siege holding the “Trump 2020” flag over his shoulder on the Senate floor. He also wore a “Trump 2020” t-shirt and goggles around his neck as he posed for selfies with other beach rioters behind him.
The Tampa Man pleaded guilty last month for one count of obstructing an official proceeding, after prosecutors agreed to drop four misdemeanors against him.
His attorney asked U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss not to send Hodgkins to jail, saying the shame attached to him for participating in the siege should be punished enough.
“Whatever punishment this court imposes will pale in comparison to the scarlet letter Mr. Hodgkins will wear for the rest of his life,” Patrick N. Leduc wrote in a recent filing, refer to the novel “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
There is a lanyard