The defendant, 27-year-old Kendrick Hamlin, previously had 12 convictions for crimes that include robbery and attempted robbery, as well as assaulting police officers. The prosecution was initially looking for a jail term of 39 months, given the defendant’s criminal history. Hamlin’s defense argued for a sentence of a 366 days in jail, reasoning that their client suffered from mental illness and long-term homelessness, as well as repeated assaults in jail resulting from past sentences.
“I want to help you get better,” Chief U.S. District Judge James Boasberg told the defendant during sentencing, but said that he had to balance out a need to protect the community as well.
Craig told the court that she wanted Hamlin held accountable for his crime. She called herself “woman followed into an elevator by a man and assaulted there.” Hamlin had followed the congresswoman from a coffee shop into the elevator in her apartment building and told her that he needed to get into her apartment. He then grabbed Craig’s neck and punched her in the face, which caused a cut lip and facial bruises. Hamlin also bit the law enforcement officers who responded to the incident and attempted to evade arrest, but was apprehended.
However, Craig has also reported being harassed and getting threats after a number of pro-Republican media commentators disclosed her address to the public. The commentators mocked one of her aides who reportedly supported defunding the police.
According to the Minnesota representative, she received a “flurry of additional targeted physical violence and death threats” both to her person and members of her staff. Craig, who is a lesbian and the first lesbian mother to be elected to Congress, said that her wife and two children were concerned for their safety, forcing them to move.
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