July 24, 2021

The U.S. has handed down its first real verdict in the January Capitol assault case

A U.S. court handed down the first real sentence in the January 2021 Capitol assault case. Florida resident Paul Hodgkins, 38, was sentenced to eight months in prison, the Associated Press reported.

Hodgkins was initially sentenced to eighteen months, but Judge Randolph Moss said the sentence could be less, because the defendant pleaded not guilty and did not attack or destroy government property. In addition, Paul Hodgkins agreed to pay the U.S. Treasury $2,000, after which he was acquitted of more serious charges, including trespassing into a locked building and disorderly conduct.

On June 24, the first verdict in the Capitol assault case was handed down. Indiana resident Anna Morgan Lloyd, 49, received a three-year suspended prison sentence, 120 hours of community service and a $500 fine.

Anna Morgan Lloyd pleaded guilty and apologized to the court, her family and “the American people” at her trial. “I am ashamed that the events of the day were a savage display of cruelty,” said the defendant in the case.

Court documents say Lloyd was not aggressive during the assault, did not plan in advance to participate in the disturbance, stayed inside for no more than 10 minutes, gave detailed answers to investigators, allowed them to examine her phone and had no prior convictions.

Supporters of former President Donald Trump gathered in front of the Capitol building on Jan. 6. Before that, Trump had called on them at a rally to protest the “stolen” election. Some of the protesters stormed into the Capitol during the session where the presidential election results were being approved and were able to reach the conference rooms, but by this time the officials had managed to leave. Five people died during the protests – four protesters and one police officer.

After that, the U.S. Congress approved the election of 78-year-old Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States.

The riots in the U.S. began on January 7 this year, when supporters of Donald Trump stormed the Capitol during a meeting at which they approved the results of the presidential election. The scuffle left five people dead, including one officer.

On January 10, the FBI arrested five of the rioters. The detainees included Jacob Anthony Chanceley of Arizona, nicknamed QShaman, Adam Johnson of Florida, lawmaker Derrick Evans of West Virginia, Doug Jensen and Richard Barnett of Arkansas.

U.S. authorities have since filed at least 25 domestic terrorism cases. Charges have been filed against 500 citizens.