Florida man becomes second person to plead guilty in Capitol riot case
© Wikimedia (Tyler Merbler)
Florida man becomes second person to plead guilty in Capitol riot case

Paul Hodgkins of Tampa, Florida, became the second person charged in connection with the storming of the Capitol on January 6 to plead guilty Wednesday.

Hodgkins originally faced charges for five offenses including disorderly conduct in a Capitol building and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds. However, he pleaded guilty to the lone offense of obstruction of an official proceeding. US District Judge Randolph Moss accepted the guilty plea, which provided that the prosecution drop the other charges against Hodgkins.

Hodgkins participated in the attack on the Capitol by entering the Senate Chamber, where he waved a pro-Trump flag and took a selfie while wearing a “Trump 2020” shirt. The selfie was later used to identify him as one of the participants in the attacks. He walked to the Senate well, where he joined other rioters in cheering, yelling and praying.

Hodgkins is only the second individual to plead guilty to any charges in connection with the attack. The first was Jon Ryan Schaffer, who faced six charges and accepted a similar plea deal, allowing him to plead guilty to two of the charges.

Hodgkins will be sentenced on July 19 in Washington, DC, and faces the federal guidelines for sentencing, which provide for 15 to 21 months in federal prison.