Paul Hodgkins, 38, illegally entered the Capitol as members of Congress gathered for a vote certifying the victory of President-elect Joe Biden.

According to reports, he remaining fencing that has surrounded the US. Capitol following the January 6 riot will come down sometime this week
According to reports, he remaining fencing that has surrounded the US. Capitol following the January 6 riot will come down sometime this week (Anna Moneymaker / AFP)

A federal judge has sentenced Paul Hodgkins to eight months in prison for the Florida man’s role in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

The sentencing on Monday makes Hodgkins the first among more than 500 accused rioters facing criminal charges to be incarcerated.

Paul Hodgkins pleaded guilty on June 2 to one felony count of obstruction of an official proceeding, as Congress was in the process of formally certifying Joe Biden’s election last November as US president when supporters of then-President Donald Trump rampaged through the building.

Prosecutors had asked US District Judge Randolph Moss to impose a sentence of 18 months in prison. 

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Hodgkins’ lawyer, Patrick Leduc, had urged that his client serve no prison time.

During a sentencing hearing, Hodgkins told Moss he is “remorseful and regretful” for his actions and acknowledged that his conduct may have emboldened others to engage in destructive acts.

“This was a foolish decision on my part that I take full responsibility for,” added Hodgkins, a Tampa resident.

More than 535 people have been charged with taking part in the attack, which followed Trump’s repeated false claims that the election was stolen from him through widespread voting fraud.

Hodgkins became the first person facing charges stemming from the riot to be sentenced to prison. 

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The only other person so far to be sentenced on riot-related charges, Anna Morgan-Lloyd of Indiana, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and received three years of probation.

Numerous riot defendants whose cases are pending face more serious criminal charges than Hodgkins, and potentially longer prison terms.

Source: AP