TAMPA, Fla. - Jailed capitol rioter Paul Hodgkins says he was duped into pleading guilty and now wants to take it all back.
In July, he pleaded guilty to his involvement in the deadly capitol riot on January 6 and was sentenced to eight months in prison. His attorney at the time, Patrick Leduc, says he worked out the best deal possible for his client.
"He's a great American. I think people ought to give him a break. He made a mistake," said Leduc.
But Hodgkins claims the only mistake he made was listening to his former attorney. In a new court filing, the Tampa man says Leduc didn't tell him he could appeal his sentence and because of that, he missed the deadline.
Recently, a federal judge cut him a break and gave him more time and a new deadline, but his new attorney missed that too. Attorney Anthony Rickman, who is not connected to this case, can't believe it.
"She already failed to meet her own deadline that she blamed Mr. Leduc for not meeting. What’s her end game?" questioned Rickman.
Rickman says what’s even more troubling was the very public release of the private emails and text messages between Hodgkins and Leduc filed in the motion, courtesy of Hodgkins' new attorney.
"I see no reason for this lawyer to have put in personal confidential communications between her client and his previous counsel," said Rickman.
One revealing email from the federal prosecutor to Leduc reads: "I don’t mean to sully your client’s reputation as a boy scout, but it seems that he has an extensive history with BDSM (bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism) and similar sexual fetish conduct."
Rickman doesn't understand why that was released.
"There’s no reason the public should have known those details about her client unrelated to the actual offense and what he's charged with. He's not charged with anything related to his sexual fetishes. He was charged with trespassing being on the senate floor," explained Rickman.
There are more eye-opening emails that Rickman believes have one clear intent.
"It looks like a hit job, quite frankly. This attorney is trying to throw Mr. Leduc under the bus and railroad him," Rickman said.
Setting up an appeal for ineffective assistance of counsel. But the question is, will it work to keep Hodgkin’s from prison? That will be up to a judge to decide.