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Tampa man who took a selfie during the Capitol attack sentenced to 8 months

Capitol Breach
FILE – In this file image from U.S. Capitol Police video, Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, of Tampa, Fla., front, stands in the well on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. (U.S. Capitol Police via AP, File)

A Florida man has become the first person sentenced in January’s Capitol attack.

38-year-old Paul Hodgkins of Tampa was sentenced to 8 months in prison by a federal judge in a Washington, D.C. courtroom on Monday.

He pleaded guilty last month to one count of obstructing an official proceeding, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Federal prosecutors had asked the court to sentence him to 18 months, a less harsher penalty, as he has no previous arrests.

Judge Randolph Moss cited Hodgkins’ lack of a criminal record, contrite statements in court and having no leadership role in the attack as the basis for his decision.

A lawyer for Hodgkins said his client got caught up in the frenzy, but is now taking responsibility.

“He’s stood up and said I’m not making any excuses what happened was wrong and I’m wrong he’s pled guilty,” said Hodgkin’s defense attorney Patrick Leduc told a Tampa television station.

His lawyers argue Hodgkins did not engage in violence or destruction, but prosecutors say he brought a first aid kit and came prepared for violence.

Prosecutors say Hodgkins was in the Senate chamber for 15 minutes. During that time, he snapped a selfie, which went viral.

His punishment could set the precedent for hundreds of other defendants.