Washington

Prosecutors reach second plea deal in Capitol riot cases


A Florida man who stormed the U.S. Capitol and stood on the Senate floor during the Jan. 6 riot on Wednesday became the second defendant to plead guilty in the federal investigation.

Paul Hodgkins, 38, pleaded guilty to one charge of obstructing an official proceeding during a virtual hearing in federal court in Washington.

He initially faced a five-count indictment that included obstructing an official proceeding, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, and disorderly conduct. But prosecutors reduced and dismissed the other charges in exchange for his plea.

The obstructing charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, but under his plea agreement, Hodgkins will face a recommended sentence of 15 to 21 months.

Hodgkins also agreed to pay $2,000 in restitution, according to court documents.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 19.

Hodgkins appeared in a video of Capitol rioters who assembled in front of the Senate chamber shouting in protest and prayer during the attack. Another video shows Hodgkins walking among the desks in the Senate chamber, taking photos on his cellphone.

A tipster called the FBI and said they recognized him in a selfie apparently taken at the Capitol.

Only one other Capitol riot defendant has entered a guilty plea. Jon Schaffer, a member of the Oath Keepers, pleaded guilty last month.

Schaffer has agreed to cooperate and share information with prosecutors in exchange for a reduced sentence.

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