- A Capitol riot attendee who pleaded guilty to obstruction is asking the court for no prison time.
- A defense attorney for Paul Hodgkins filed a wide-ranging sentencing memo on Thursday.
- The lawyer argues Hodgkins should receive leniency because he came forward to “accept judgement.”
One of the first Capitol riot defendants to plead guilty in connection to the deadly January 6 attack is asking the court for a lenient sentence in a request that could serve as an early sentencing indicator for the hundreds of other defendants headed to court.
Prosecutors say Paul Hodgkins, 38, took a selfie inside the Capitol during the insurrection that eventually led the FBI to his door. The Florida man was arrested in February and indicted on five counts in March. Hodgkins originally pleaded not guilty to all five charges, but changed his tune in June when he agreed to strike a deal, pleading guilty to one count of obstructing an official proceeding, court documents show.
In a wide-ranging new sentencing memo filed on Thursday, attorney Patrick N. Leduc argues Hodgkins, a “kind” and “thoughtful” man, should avoid prison time, in part, because “it takes courage and strength of character to be the first person to step forward and accept judgement.”
In the 32-page document scattered with several references to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, George Floyd and Black Lives Matter, and the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, Leduc argues that giving Hodgkins “a sentence that provides…charity,” would go “a very long way toward healing a nation in dire need of seeing what undeserved ‘grace’ looks like.”
Hodgkins’ sentencing is scheduled for July 19. Leduc said in Thursday’s sentencing memo that Hodgkins has prepared a “powerful” statement for the court.
Hodgkins could face up to 21 months in prison and a fine of $250,000, according to federal sentencing guidelines, but Hodgkins has already agreed to pay $2,000 in restitution fees as part of his plea deal.
His sentencing later this month will be only the second case of a Capitol riot attendee being sentenced. Last month, Anna Morgan Lloyd was sentenced to three years of probation and 120 hours of community service, but no jail time.
More than 550 people have been arrested and charged in connection to the insurrection so far.