CHICAGO: A Florida man who breached the U.S. Senate chamber carrying a Trump marketing campaign flag is scheduled to turn out to be the primary Jan. 6 rioter sentenced for a felony, in a listening to that may assist set a benchmark for punishment in related circumstances.
Prosecutors need Paul Allard Hodgkins to serve 18 months behind bars, saying in a current submitting that he, “like every rioter, contributed to the collective risk to democracy” by forcing lawmakers to briefly abandon their certification of Joe Biden’s election victory and to scramble for shelter from incoming mobs.
Video footage exhibits Hodgkins, 38, sporting a Trump 2020 T-shirt, the flag flung over his shoulder and eye goggles round his neck contained in the Senate. He took a selfie with a self-described shaman in a horned helmet and different rioters on the dais behind him.
His sentencing Monday in Washington may set the bar for punishments of lots of of different defendants as they resolve whether or not to simply accept plea offers or go to trial. Hodgkins and others are accused of significant crimes however weren’t indicted, as different have been, for roles in bigger conspiracies.
A lawyer for Hodgkins, who pleaded responsible final month to 1 rely of obstructing an official continuing, requested U.S. District Decide Randolph Moss to not impose a jail sentence, saying the disgrace that may connect to Hodgkins for the remainder of his life must be factored in as punishment.
“No matter punishment this court docket could present will pale compared to the scarlet letter Mr. Hodgkins will put on for the remainder of his life,” Patrick N. Leduc wrote in a current submitting, citing a Nathaniel Hawthorne novel during which a lady accused of adultery is pressured to put on a letter “A.”
The submitting argues that Hodgkins’ actions weren’t markedly completely different from these of Anna Morgan Lloyd — aside from Hodgkins stepping onto the Senate ground. The 49-year-old from Indiana was the primary of roughly 500 arrested to be sentenced. She pleaded responsible to misdemeanor disorderly conduct and final month was sentenced to 3 years of probation.
Hodgkins was by no means accused of assaulting anybody or damaging property. And prosecutors stated he deserves some leniency for taking accountability virtually instantly and pleading responsible to the obstruction cost, which carries a most 20-years jail sentence.
However additionally they famous how he boarded a bus in his hometown of Tampa certain for a Jan. 6 Trump rally carrying rope, protecting goggles and latex gloves in a backpack — saying that demonstrated he got here to Washington ready for violence.
On the day, he walked via grounds already plagued by smashed police limitations and damaged home windows, night passing cops and others injured as the gang surged towards the Capitol, prosecutors stated.
“Time and time once more, fairly than flip round and retreat, Hodgkins pressed ahead,” the federal government submitting stated.
Leduc described his shopper as an in any other case law-abiding American who, regardless of dwelling in a poorer a part of Tampa, frequently volunteered at a meals financial institution. He famous that Hodgkins had been an Eagle Scout.
His actions on Jan. 6 “is the story of a person who for only one hour on in the future misplaced his bearings … who made a fateful choice to observe the gang,” the lawyer stated.
Leduc’s 33-page presentencing submitting devotes a number of pages to the Civil Battle, highlighting Abraham Lincoln’s requires reconciliation weeks earlier than his assassination.
“The court docket has an opportunity to emulate Lincoln,” he wrote.