Speed Reads

capitol riot aftermath

Jan. 6 defendant sentenced to 8 months after hearing that could set benchmark for similar cases

U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss on Monday sentenced Paul Hodgkins, a supporter of former President Donald Trump who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, to eight months in prison after Hodgkins pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing an official proceeding. 

The sentencing is in between the 18 months recommended by prosecutors and what Hodgkins and his lawyer were angling for: no jail time. The Associated Press writes that Moss' decision could set the bar for hundreds of similar cases involving people who were at the Capitol to disrupt the presidential election certification because they believed Trump's false claims of widespread voter fraud. But, per HuffPost, Moss said his only job was to "find a fair and just sentence" for Hodgkins, and other defendants will likely receive higher or lower sentences.

Part of the reason the sentencing fell short of the prosecution's goal was that Hodgkins had no prior criminal record and quickly took responsibility, Moss said. During the hearing, Hodgkins acknowledged that President Biden is "rightfully and respectfully" the president of the United States and said his decision to take part in the riot was "foolish."