Florida resident and Capitol rioter Paul Hodgkins has been ordered to report to authorities to begin his eight-month prison sentence on September 20, as previously scheduled. Hodgkins, who was the first Capitol rioter to be sentenced in connection to a felony charge, had sought to delay the date when he had to surrender to authorities, claiming that a previous defense lawyer, Patrick Leduc, had “bullied” him into pleading guilty, as summarized by The Washington Post. Specifically, Hodgkins had pleaded guilty to a single criminal charge of obstruction of an official proceeding, which can come with a prison sentence of up to 20 years and is a felony.
Paul Hodgkins, the first Jan. 6 defendant sentenced in a felony case, has to report to federal prison on Sept. 20 to begin serving his eight month sentence, per court. A judge denied a defense motion to delay his self-surrender date.
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) September 15, 2021
During the riot, Hodgkins carried a Trump flag onto the floor of the Senate, from which Senators and the then-vice president had just recently fled for their lives from the rampaging mob. Obviously, Hodgkins’s flag helped signify the nature of what was unfolding. Rather than those present somehow sticking up for patriotism or whatever else, the riot was about appeasing the demented delusions and inflated ego of one man alone: Donald Trump. Federal prosecutors opposed Hodgkins’s attempt to get the date when he was to surrender to authorities pushed back.
Hodgkins isn’t the only Capitol riot defendant to recently sustain a loss in their case. Jacob Chansley, for instance — who is otherwise known as the “QAnon Shaman” because of his previously expressed allegiance to the QAnon conspiracy theory and the distinctive, shaman-like attire that he wore during the riot — was recently ordered to remain in prison ahead of his own sentencing, which is set for November. Chansley’s estimated sentencing guidelines call for a prison term of 41 to 51 months, according to prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to the same charge to which Hodgkins pleaded guilty, and plea deals have repeatedly been connected to substantive divergences in sentence lengths.
Meanwhile, Capitol rioter Thomas Caldwell, who is tied to the violent, far-right group known as the Oath Keepers, recently lost his attempt to get his upcoming jury trial moved out of D.C. Through his lawyer, that attempt was based on an argument that D.C. residents would be unfairly biased against Caldwell from the start, a notion which federal Judge Amit Mehta rejected. Mehta also rejected an attempt by Caldwell and other rioters with Oath Keepers ties to get certain charges against them thrown out.