Florida man, who carried a Trump campaign flag in his hand, was arrested and sentenced to felony in a hearing that will set the standard for similar cases.
Prosecutors want Paul Allard Hodgkins sentenced to 18 months in prison. They claim that Hodgkins, like each rioter, contributed “to the collective threat to democracies” by forcing legislators to temporarily abandon their endorsement of Joe Biden’s victory and scramble to shelter from incoming mobs.
Hodgkins, 38 years old, is captured wearing a Trump 2020 Tshirt with the flag draped over his shoulder and his eye goggles around the neck. He snapped a selfie with a self-described Shaman wearing a helmeted helmet and other rioters behind him.
Monday’s sentencing in Washington could set the tone for hundreds of other defendants who will decide whether they accept plea agreements or go to trial. Hodgkins, along with others, are charged with serious crimes, but they were not indicted for their roles in larger conspiracy.
Hodgkins’ lawyer, who pleaded guilty to the one-count of obstruction of an official proceeding, asked U.S. district Judge Randolph Moss to not impose a prison sentence. Moss said that Hodgkins will feel shame for the rest his life and should consider this as punishment.
Patrick N. Leduc, who was quoting a Nathaniel Hawthorne novel where a woman accused in adultery is made to wear an “A” letter in a filing, wrote that “Any punishment this court may give will pale in comparison with the scarlet letter Mr. Hodgkins would wear for the rest his life.”
The filing claims that Hodgkins’ actions were not significantly different from those of Anna Morgan Lloyd, with the exception of Hodgkins taking to the Senate floor. The Indiana native, 49-year-old, was one of approximately 500 people arrested and sentenced. She pleaded guilty misdemeanor disorderly behavior and was sentenced last month to three years probation.
Hodgkins wasn’t accused of damaging property or assaulting anyone. Prosecutors said that Hodgkins deserved somelenience for taking responsibility nearly immediately and pleading guilty the obstruction charge. This carries a maximum of 20 years imprisonment.
They also noticed that he was carrying latex gloves, protection goggles, and rope on his bus ride to Washington from Tampa.
Prosecutors said that he was seen walking through broken windows and police barriers on the ground, passing officers as he approached the Capitol.
According to the filing, Hodgkins continued forward, “Time and again”
Leduc described his client to be a law-abiding American who, even though he lived in a less affluent part of Tampa, often volunteered at a food pantry. Hodgkins was an Eagle Scout, Leduc noted.
The attorney stated that Jan. 6 was “the story of a man, who lost his bearings for only one hour and then decided to follow the crowd.”
Leduc’s 33 page presentencing filing focuses on the Civil War and highlights Abraham Lincoln’s pleas for reconciliation weeks before his assassination.
He wrote, “The court has the chance to imitate Lincoln.”