After pleading guilty to one count of obstruction of an official proceeding during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, Paul Allard Hodgkins was sentenced by a judger to 8 months in prison — the first felony sentence to be handed down to a participant in the riot, The Hill reports.
Prosecutors had sought an 18-month sentence for Hodgkins, but U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss said he was encouraged by Hodgkins’s show of remorse over his actions, but called the events on Jan. 6 “chilling.”
“Democracy requires the cooperation of the government,” Moss said. “When a mob is prepared to attack the Capitol to prevent our elected officials of both parties from performing their constitutional and statutory duty, democracy is in trouble. The damage that Mr. Hodgkins and others caused that day is way beyond a several-hour delay in certification [of the election]. It is damage that will persist in this country for decades.”
Hodgkins was not accused of committing any acts of violence on Jan. 6, but prosecutors said that he entered the Capitol building and the Senate chamber carrying a “Trump 2020” sign, latex gloves, protective eye goggles, and rope.
In comments to the court on Monday, Hodgkins apologized for his role in the riot and said he now recognizes President Biden as the rightful president.
“I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I am truly remorseful and regretful for my actions in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021,” Hodgkins said. “I say this, not because I face consequences, but because of the damage that day’s actions have caused, the way that this country that I love has been hurt.”