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East Helena man's sentencing moved to Jan. 6 in Capitol riot

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Jerod Wade Hughes

Jerod Hughes

The sentencing for one of two East Helena brothers who has pleaded guilty for his participation in the insurrection in Washington, D.C., has been moved to Jan. 6 -- the two-year anniversary of the riot upon the U.S. Capitol -- after his attorney said there was a scheduling conflict.

Mugshot Joshua Calvin Hughes

Joshua Hughes

Jerod Hughes, 37, was to be sentenced Tuesday by District of Columbia U.S. District Court Judge Timothy J. Kelly along with his brother, Joshua, 38, for participating in the riot at the Capitol. Authorities are seeking 51 months of incarceration for Jerod Hughes, plus three years of supervised release, $2,000 in restitution and a mandatory $100 special assessment.

Federal authorities have asked that Joshua Hughes not only be sentenced to 46 months in prison, but also that he undergo three years of supervised release and pay $2,000 in restitution plus a mandatory $100 special assessment. His sentencing remained scheduled for noon (Mountain Time) Tuesday, according to court documents.

Hughes brothers

This photo shows Joshua, left, and Jerod Hughes as they walk across scaffolding during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.

On Jan. 6, 2021, the brothers were part of a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters who broke into the Capitol to contest the Electoral College vote being certified that would name Democrat Joe Biden as president. Trump has falsely claimed he won the election.

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia has said the brothers, who had driven from Montana to Washington, D.C., for the rally, placed themselves at the “tip of the spear” that day and “actively engaged in the destruction of government property,” harassed and interfered with Capitol police and obstructed a joint session of Congress.

The brothers turned themselves in to authorities after they returned to Montana and initially were incarcerated in early 2021. They pleaded not guilty and were released from custody pending trial, on their own recognizance.

The brothers pleaded guilty Aug. 25 to an obstruction of an official proceeding charge. At one time they faced nine felony counts.

Joshua Hughes asked the court by the Nov. 15 deadline to sentence him for time served, a four-year probationary sentence with conditions, including community service. He said if the court is “inclined to sentence him to a period of incarceration,” that he be allowed to self-surrender to the Bureau of Prison’s SeaTac facility in Seattle.

There was no such request filed by Jerod Hughes as of late afternoon Friday. Kelly then ordered that Jerod Hughes must file a sentencing memorandum by Nov. 19 or the court would not proceed with sentencing him Nov. 22.

Jerod Hughes’ attorney, Jonathan Zucker, took the blame for missing the deadline.

He said in documents filed Sunday he failed to record the scheduled dates in his calendar. He said he was involved in pre-trial motions in a homicide case and some of the pretrial motions were scheduled for Nov. 22, the same day Jerod was to be sentenced.

“Undersigned counsel learned of this scheduling error when contacted by the prosecutor in this case on Nov. 19, 2022 …” he wrote.

“Unfortunately, counsel learned of this at approximately 5:00 p.m. on November 19, 2022 and could not timelier file this motion,” Zucker wrote.

“Wherefore, it is requested that the sentencing in the instant matter be rescheduled.”

The prosecutor did not oppose the continuance, according to court documents.

Kelly on Monday continued the sentencing to 9:30 a.m. Jan. 6, citing "excusable neglect shown" and ordered Jerod Hughes’ sentencing memorandum to be filed by Dec. 30.

In the 22 months since Jan. 6, 2021, nearly 900 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the riot, including over 275 people charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

The investigation remains ongoing. 

Assistant editor Phil Drake can be reached at 406-231-9021.

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Assistant Editor/Reporter

Phil Drake is the assistant editor and reporter at the Independent Record.

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