Man involved in Capitol riot first to be sentenced to prison on felony charge

In the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, in which thousands of supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the building in protest of Congress certifying the 2020 election results, all eyes have been on a number of those involved who were hit with felony-level convictions.

According to Fox News, Tampa, Florida resident Allard Hodgkins, 38, was charged with a felony for his involvement in the riot and has become the first person to be sentenced to jail as a result. A judge announced on Monday that Hodgkins will serve an eight-month sentence for his crime. 

The man, who pleaded guilty last month to one count of “obstructing an official proceeding,” was reportedly sincere enough in his regret for being involved that U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss handed down less of a sentence than what was expected.

Based on Hodgkin’s lack of a prior criminal record, combined with the fact that he wasn’t acting as one of the leaders who organized the ransacking of the Capitol building, Judge Moss’ sentence was 10 months short of the 18-month sentence prosecutors were shooting for.

The man’s attorney also pleaded with the judge to take it easy on his client, saying, “Whatever punishment this court may provide will pale in comparison to the scarlet letter Mr. Hodgkins will wear for the rest of his life.”

Prosecutors in the case admitted that Hodgkins taking immediate ownership of his involvement, unlike many others who attempted to evade being identified, was taken into account as far as sentencing is concerned. The obstruction charge he faced carries a maximum 20-year sentence.

As Fox News noted, the sentencing will likely influence hundreds of additional people who have been charged for various levels of involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.

With Hodgkins receiving eight months for not being an organizer of the attack and with a clean record, those who were involved in the riot’s organization — especially if they have priors on their records — will likely be slammed with much longer sentences.

Though most of the country has moved on from the tragic events that unfolded on that day, we’ll likely be revisiting the situation on a somewhat consistent basis moving forward as more of those involved in the riot have their day in court, which, at this point, is at least hundreds of people.