A Florida man received the first felony sentence stemming from the Capitol riot on Monday.
Paul Allard Hodgkins pleaded guilty last month to one count of obstructing an official proceeding for breaching the Senate on January 6, the AP reported. Prosecutors wanted Hodgkins to serve 18 months in prison even though the maximum sentence was 20 years and a fine of $250,000.
District Judge Randolph Moss ultimately sentenced Hodgkins to 8 months in prison and 24 months of supervised release. While he applauded Hodgkins for being one of the first to plead guilty and for doing community service before sentencing, he said he had “to deter others from ever, ever, ever” attempting an attack akin to the January 6 riots.
Various footage from January 6 shows Hodgkins inside the Capitol and Senate building with a large Donald Trump flag. He also brought along a backpack containing eye goggles, white latex gloves, and rope, according to the government’s sentencing memorandum.
While prosecutors noted that Hodgkins didn’t personally destroy property or attack officers, they said he “made a series of choices along the way, culminating in his personal role in obstructing the vote count-related conduct in the Senate chamber and the felony criminal charge of which he was convicted.”
Assistant US Attorney Mona Sedky said on Monday that while he didn’t personally damage the building, he was with the mob that did.
“January 6 was an act of domestic terrorism,” Sedky said, and noted that while Hodgkins himself did not engage in domestic terrorism himself, “he was part of the parcel enacting domestic terrorism going on around him.”
Rioters ultimately caused around $1.4 million in property damages to the US Capitol, according to the sentencing memorandum. That likely includes the costs of broken windows, doors, gates, and computers.
Hodgkins’ attorneys told prosecutors that he wanted to be one of the first people to plead guilty in the hopes of receiving lighter sentencing. The attempt may have worked, as prosecutors have agreed before the sentencing to waive the financial fines against him.