The sentencing of one of two East Helena brothers, who has pleaded guilty to his part in the Washington, DC riot, has been postponed to January 6, according to his lawyer – the two-month anniversary of the US Capitol riots, it said would be a scheduling conflict.
Jerod Hughes, 37, was scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday by US District Court Judge Timothy J. Kelly, along with his brother Joshua, 38, for taking part in the Capitol rioting. Authorities are asking Jerod Hughes for 51 months in prison, plus three years of supervised release, $2,000 in damages and a mandatory $100 special assessment.
Federal authorities have demanded 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 damages plus a mandatory $100 special assessment. According to court documents, his sentencing remained scheduled for Tuesday afternoon (Mountain Time).
On Jan. 6, 2021, the brothers were part of a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump who broke into the Capitol to contest confirmation of the Electoral College vote that would nominate Democrat Joe Biden as president. Trump falsely claimed he won the election.
The U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia said the brothers, who traveled from Montana to Washington, DC, for the rally, that day “lead the spear” and “actively participated in the destruction of government property,” harassed and disrupted Capitol police and obstructed a joint session of Congress.
The brothers turned themselves in to authorities upon their return to Montana and were initially jailed in early 2021. They pleaded not guilty and were released from custody on their own initiative.
The brothers pleaded guilty on August 25 to obstructing an official arraignment process. At one time they faced nine offenses.
Joshua Hughes asked the court until November 15 to sentence him to a four-year suspended sentence with conditions, including community service, for time served. He said that if the court was “inclined to give him a prison sentence,” he could put himself in the Bureau of Prison’s SeaTac facility in Seattle.
As of late Friday afternoon, no such request had been made by Jerod Hughes. Kelly then ordered Jerod Hughes to file a sentencing memorandum by November 19 or the court would not sentence him on November 22.
Jerod Hughes’ attorney, Jonathan Zucker, took the blame for missing the deadline.
He said in the documents filed Sunday he had not entered the planned dates on his calendar. He said he was involved in pre-trials in a murder case and some of the pre-trials were scheduled for November 22, the same day Jerod was due to be sentenced.
“The undersigned attorney learned of this planning error when contacted by prosecutors in this case on November 19, 2022…” he wrote.
“Unfortunately, the attorney learned of this around 5:00 p.m. on November 19, 2022 and was unable to file this application in a timely manner,” Zucker wrote.
“It is therefore requested that the pronouncement of judgment in the present case be rescheduled.”
Prosecutors did not oppose the continuation, according to court documents.
Kelly continued the sentencing until 9:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 6, citing “excusable neglect,” and ordered that Jerod Hughes’ sentencing memorandum be filed by December 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 riots, including over 275 people charged with assault or obstruction of law enforcement, US attorneys said.
The investigations are ongoing.
Associate Editor Phil Drake can be reached at 406-231-9021.