A federal judge on Thursday sentenced a man who attacked Rep. Angie Craig at her apartment building earlier this year to more than two years in prison.
Kendrid Hamlin pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Congress. Federal prosecutors said he punched the Minnesota Democrat in the face and trapped her inside an elevator at her Washington apartment building in February. He also pled guilty to assaulting two police officers.
The prosecutors argued in court filings that Hamlin’s lengthy criminal history made him a danger to the community while federal public defenders said a long federal prison term wouldn’t offer proper help for a man who’s struggled with mental health issues.
Chief Judge James E. Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia pointed to Hamlin’s history of mental health issues and said he saw remorse, but noted the case was the latest in a series of serious criminal behavior.
The judge sentenced Hamlin to two and a quarter years in prison for the three counts, and recommended he be placed at a federal medical center.
Hamlin, through a statement read by his attorney in court, apologized for the attack and said he takes full responsibility.
There’s no indication he targeted Craig for her politics.
Hamlin’s family members, including his mother and father who both spoke before the court, sat in the courtroom for his sentencing. His mother said she feared for his safety behind bars, and said sending him to a federal penitentiary wouldn’t get him proper help.
Craig, in a victim impact statement filed with the court, wrote that Hamlin grabbed her neck, slammed her into a steel wall, punched her in the face and tried to pull her back as the elevator doors opened.
Craig was able to flee after throwing a cup of hot coffee at him, police said previously.
The physical attack left her with bruising and a cut to her lip, but the mental and emotional recovery continues, Craig said.
“The assault has also had a lasting impact on my family,” she wrote in the victim impact statement. “My wife and four sons continue to be concerned for my safety both generally — and specifically due to the attention to public safety my assault subsequently received in the press.”
Craig reported that a media outlet disclosed her apartment building address, forcing her to break her lease due to security concerns. She also received a flurry of “additional targeted physical violence” and death threats after media personalities made comments about the assault.