The man who attacked Rep. Angie Craig in her Washington, DC, apartment complex earlier this year was sentenced on Thursday to 27 months in prison.
Kendrid Hamlin pleaded guilty in June to three counts, including assaulting a member of Congress as well as assaulting two law enforcement officers.
During his sentencing, Hamlin’s attorney said his client faced a number of issues at the time of the assault, including drug abuse and homelessness, and that he’s been diagnosed schizophrenia and mental disabilities.
In a victim impact statement submitted to the court, Craig, a Minnesota Democrat, said the mental and emotional recovery she suffered from the attack “is ongoing.”
“While this case has received much attention because I am a Member of Congress, that morning I was simply a woman followed into an elevator by a man and assaulted there,” Craig wrote.
According to a sentencing memorandum filed by prosecutors, Hamlin followed Craig into the elevator of her apartment complex and told Craig to take him to her apartment.
After she told him to get off the elevator, Hamlin blocked Craig from leaving and pushed her before punching her in the jaw, according to the memorandum. Hamlin proceeded to restrain the congresswoman from leaving the elevator, at which point Craig threw the hot coffee she was holding over her shoulder toward Hamlin, who then let her go.
Eventually, Hamlin fled the building and later fought police while being arrested, biting one officer in the shoulder, the memorandum states.
In her letter, Craig said she hoped Hamlin would receive the mental health and additional services “that would allow him to become a productive member of society.” She added that until such help and services are provided, “I believe he would continue to be a further threat to others.”
Craig also said that after the location of her apartment building was disclosed following the assault, she had to move “for targeted security concerns” and received a “flurry” of death threats following “comments by media personalities about my assault.”
Family members, including Hamlin’s mother and father, attended Thursday’s sentencing.
His mother, Harriet Hawkins, told the court her greatest fear had been that her son would hurt someone. “My family and I definitely apologize” to Craig, she said.
Hawkins described how she would go looking for Hamlin in the early morning hours in the streets of DC, and has tried for 27 years to get him help.
“I’ve lost one child,” Hawkins told the judge when asking for Hamlin to receive mental health and rehabilitation treatment as part of his sentence, “I don’t want to lose another one.”
Chief Judge James Boasberg noted the difficulty in sentencing Hamlin during Thursday’s hearing, citing his mental health issues, but added: “I also need to protect our community.”
When handing down the sentence, Boasberg also referenced Hamlin’s criminal history, which the chief judge said included assaultive behavior.
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