A photograph from Nicholas Hendrix’s phone showing his approach toward the East Door of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. U.S. federal court filings

A federal judge is considering how much time a Gorham man will serve in jail for his role in storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Nicholas Hendrix, 35, will be sentenced on Dec. 9. Prosecutors want him to serve two weeks behind bars followed by three years on probation. His defense attorney is asking for no jail time and a year on probation. Hendrix has been released on a $5,000 unsecured bond.

Nicholas P. Hendrix, 34, in a photograph investigators say was found on Hendrix’s phone from the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Photo courtesy of FBI

Hendrix pleaded guilty to one count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, a Class B misdemeanor that carries up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. In doing so, he admitted to illegally being in the Capitol for 90 seconds before exiting and unsuccessfully attempting to enter a second time.

His defense attorney, federal public defender David Beneman, said Wednesday that neither he nor his client will comment on the case beyond what’s been filed and that his sentencing is “a matter for the judge.”

Hendrix is one of roughly 900 people who stormed the U.S. Capitol on the day Congress was set to certify the 2020 Electoral College vote. More than 400 of them have either pleaded guilty or been found guilty at trial. At least 300 people already have been sentenced, receiving between five years in prison to a few months of home detention and a few hundred dollars in restitution fees.

Federal prosecutors have said they want to ensure that sentencing in these convictions serves as a deterrent to any future threats to the democratic process.


“It is important to convey to future potential rioters – especially those who intend to improperly influence the democratic process – that their actions will have consequences,” Assistant United States Attorney Karen Rochlin wrote in Hendrix’s sentencing recommendation.

Beneman asked the court to consider a lesser sentence, taking into account Hendrix’s military service, career as a licensed pipe fitter, role as a father and his long-term substance use recovery.


In the defense’s sentencing memo, Beneman laid out Hendrix’s life. He was born in Portland but grew up in New Hampshire, where he graduated from high school in 2005. He lived mostly with his mother but was close to both parents.

Nicholas Hendrix at work as a pipe fitter. U.S. federal court filings

Hendrix joined the Army in 2006 and was deployed to Iraq twice. He received almost a dozen medals, badges and ribbons. But his time in the military left him with post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic back pain and an opioid addiction.

He survived multiple attacks and witnessed the deaths and injuries of many around him. While in Iraq in 2008, he was standing by a house when a boy and two adults emerged and began firing assault rifles at Hendrix and others. A friend was shot in the neck. Hendrix tried helping a lieutenant who was shot in the head and chest, but he died on the way to the hospital.


After returning to New Hampshire in 2009, Hendrix attended counseling at the veterans’ services center in Portland. He went into detox, and later inpatient rehabilitation for substance use disorder following his father’s overdose death in 2017. Beneman wrote that Hendrix has been sober and in recovery since September 2018. Today he is a licensed pipe fitter with an associate’s degree in metalwork from Southern Maine Community College. Hendrix is married and supports five children – three with his wife and two from her previous relationship.

“He is maintaining his sobriety, engaged in healthy activities and has demonstrated his commitment to a positive and lawful life,” Beneman wrote. “He has the support of his family, employer, co-workers and friends.”

A Facebook post recovered from Nicholas Hendrix’s phone, showing him arriving in Washington, D.C. to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, 2021. U.S. federal court filings

In late 2020, former President Donald Trump began tweeting calls to action, requesting “patriots” come to the U.S. Capitol to protest what he called the “most corrupt election in U.S. History.” Hendrix tried persuading friends to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally in D.C. with him, but ultimately he ended up taking a bus from Newton, Massachusetts, on his own.

Hendrix did not arrive with any weapons. Pictures from that day show him holding a large poster that read “Stop the Communist & Terrorist Revolution” and wearing a “Biden sucks! Kamala swallows!” T-shirt. In one photograph, he’s holding a U.S. flag over his right shoulder.

According to various cellphone videos that Hendrix provided to FBI agents, he joined rioters in pushing past police, climbing over broken windows and busted doors, and illegally entering the U.S. Capitol. Hendrix has said he was only inside for about 90 seconds — but he spent some time shouting at a line of police who were trying to keep protesters out, said Rochlin, the assistant U.S. attorney, before he was exposed to a chemical agent and forced to retreat.

He met FBI agents at a parking lot in Maine two weeks after he returned to the state, and then again in March 2021. He voluntarily spoke without an attorney and agreed to let them access his phone.


While Beneman said Hendrix was fully cooperative, owning up to his crimes and offering remorse, prosecutors said Hendrix often attempted to “minimize” his role that day. In one interview with the FBI, Hendrix admitted he knew he was entering the Capitol illegally, but that he believed police were giving up on keeping rioters out.

Noting Hendrix’s time with the U.S. military, Rochlin said that experience actually makes his participating on Jan. 6, no matter how briefly he was there, “disturbing” because of  “the calls to hang the vice president, an officer under the Constitution that Hendrix had sworn an oath to support and defend.”


Of more than 900 people charged for storming the Capitol, there are at least five defendants with Maine ties, two of whom have yet to go to trial.

Surveillance footage of police blocking entry while Nicholas Hendrix, shown beneath a red arrow, makes a recording inside the Rotunda lobby. U.S. federal court filings

Hendrix will be the first Maine resident sentenced for his role in the attack on the Capitol.

Glen Mitchell Simon, who now lives in Georgia but is from Minot, was sentenced to eight months in prison in August after pleading guilty to disorderly and disruptive conduct for using a metal bicycle rack to push away officers who were trying to prevent the mob from entering the Capitol.

Kyle Fitzsimons, a Lebanon man who was found guilty of assaulting at least three officers and trying to prevent the certification of the 2020 presidential election, will be sentenced in February.

Jefferson resident Joshua Colgan, 35, is awaiting trial after he pleaded not guilty in July to four misdemeanor charges.

South Paris resident Todd Tilley, 61, was charged in June with four misdemeanors, including entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building or grounds, and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.

Comments are not available on this story.