By Mark Hosenball
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A federal choose on Monday handed down an eight-month jail sentence to Floridian Paul Hodgkins for his function within the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, making him the primary amongst tons of of accused rioters dealing with prosecution to be incarcerated.
Hodgkins, 38, pleaded responsible on June 2 to obstruction of an official continuing, as Congress was within the technique of formally certifying Joe Biden’s election final November as U.S. president when supporters of former President Donald Trump rampaged by way of the constructing.
At a sentencing listening to on Monday, prosecutor Mona Sedky advised U.S. District Choose Randolph Moss that Hodgkins, a Tampa resident, donned goggles earlier than getting into the Senate chamber in the course of the riot and “proudly posed for selfies,” which he texted to associates.
Sedky acknowledged that Hodgkins didn’t destroy any property “and he didn’t injure anybody.”
In an announcement to the courtroom, Hodgkins mentioned he was “remorseful and regretful” for his actions in Washington and acknowledged that these actions might have emboldened others to have interaction in harmful acts.
“This was a silly resolution on my half that I take full accountability for,” Hodgkins advised the courtroom.
Moss agreed that Hodgkins had not been violent, didn’t threaten anybody and didn’t set up the Capitol assault. However the choose mentioned that Hodgkins went to the Capitol “to impede the certification of the election, and he admitted that he did so.”
The choose mentioned that whereas he believes that Hodgkins’ participation within the riot was an “aberration in his life,” he additionally believed that the Jan. 6 assault had “tarnished” U.S. historical past and that it’s needed to discourage future rioters.
Greater than 535 individuals have been charged with participating within the assault, an unsuccessful try and cease Congress from certifying Biden’s victory over Trump, who had falsely claimed the election was stolen from him by way of widespread voting fraud.
Whereas different accused Jan. 6 rioters have entered responsible pleas, Hodgkins turned the primary to be sentenced to jail.
(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Modifying by Will Dunham)