Paul Hodgkins, First Capitol Rioter Sentenced, Given 8 Months In Prison
Paul Hodgkins, a 38-year-old Florida man, was sentenced to eight months behind bars on Monday for his participation in the Jan. 6 insurrection on the Capitol in D.C.
Hodgkins breached the U.S. Senate chamber holding a Trump campaign flag during the riot.
The Florida man apologized in front of the judge and confessed that he was ashamed of what he had done on that day. He claimed that he got too excited as he walked down Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C., then just joined a crowd of Trump supporters and marched into the Capitol.
“If I had any idea that the protest would escalate [the way] it did … I would never have ventured farther than the sidewalk of Pennsylvania Avenue,” Hodgkins told the judge. “This was a foolish decision on my part.”
Randolph Moss, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, stated that Hodgkins was in part of perhaps one of the worst events in the history of the United States. Moss also said that he chose to reduce Hodgkins’ time behind bars to eight months, a year less of prison time than the Department of Justice requested.
“That was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a protest,” Moss said. “It was … an assault on democracy. It left a stain that will remain on us … on the country for years to come,” Moss added. “He was staking a claim on the floor of the United States Senate, not with the American flag but with a flag declaring his loyalty to a single individual over the entire nation.”