A Florida man who breached the US Senate chamber carrying a Trump campaign flag has been sentenced to eight months at the relieve of bars, the critical decision for a criminal case within the Capitol riots.
Paul Allard Hodgkins apologised and said he was ashamed of his actions on January 6.
Talking evenly from a difficult textual insist material, he described being caught up within the euphoria as he walked down Washington DC’s most famend avenue, then followed a crowd of hundreds into the Capitol.
“If I had any realizing that the declare… would escalate (the draw) it did … I would never savor ventured farther than the sidewalk of Pennsylvania Avenue,” Hodgkins told the assume.
He added: “This was a silly decision on my segment.”
Prosecutors had asked for Hodgkins to assist 18 months at the relieve of bars, announcing in a recent filing that he, “love every rioter, contributed to the collective threat to democracy” by forcing lawmakers to temporarily abandon their certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory over Donald Trump and to plug for safe haven from incoming mobs.
In announcing the sentence, Think Randolph Moss said that Hodgkins had played a position, if now now not as necessary as others, in a single of the worst episodes in US history.
Unruffled he chose to give Hodgkins a yr less in reformatory.
“That was now now not, by any stretch of the imagination, a declare,” Moss said.
“It was an assault on democracy.”
He added: “It left a stain that can remain on us, on the country for years to attain.”
The sentencing could well blueprint the bar for punishments of hundreds of different defendants as they gain whether to get plea presents or coast to trial.
Hodgkins and others are accused of critical crimes but had been now now not indicted, as some others had been, for roles in bigger conspiracies.
Under an settlement with prosecutors, he pleaded responsible final month to one count of obstructing an respectable proceeding, which carries a most 20-yr reformatory sentence.
Hodgkins was never accused of assaulting any individual or adverse property.
And prosecutors said he deserves some leniency for taking duty almost at as soon as and pleading responsible to the obstruction payment.
But they furthermore illustrious how he boarded a bus in his hometown of Tampa inch for a January 6 Trump rally carrying rope, holding goggles and latex gloves in a backpack – announcing that demonstrated he came to Washington DC difficult for violence.
Video photography reveals Hodgkins carrying a Trump 2020 T-shirt, the flag flung over his shoulder and look goggles around his neck, at some level of the Senate.
He took a selfie with a self-described shaman in a horned helmet and other rioters on the dais at the relieve of him.
His authorized authentic pleaded with the assume to spare his 38-yr-historical client time in reformatory, announcing the disgrace that can connect to Hodgkins for the leisure of his lifestyles must be factored in as punishment.
Hodgkins’ authorized authentic described his client as an otherwise legislation-abiding citizen who, without reference to living in a poorer segment of Tampa, on a strange foundation volunteered at a food bank.
He illustrious that Hodgkins is an Eagle Scout.
His actions on Jan. 6 “is the story of a man who for factual one hour on in the end lost his bearings … who made a fateful decision to apply the group,” the authorized authentic said.