White supremacist confesses to intimidating jurors and witnesses in Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

20:41 19.09.2023

A West Virginia man, Hardy Carroll Lloyd, has pleaded guilty to threatening jurors and witnesses in the federal hate crime trial of Robert Bowers, the gunman responsible for the deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018. Lloyd pleaded guilty to a federal charge of obstruction of the due administration of justice, as announced by the Justice Department. In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors have requested that he be sentenced to the maximum prison term of 78 months under federal sentencing guidelines.

According to prosecutors, Lloyd confessed to making online threats against the jurors and witnesses involved in Bowers' trial. Robert Bowers was convicted in June of 63 counts related to the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, which claimed the lives of 11 people and left seven others wounded. In August, Bowers was sentenced to death based on the jury's recommendation.

Lloyd's arrest took place about a week after Bowers' sentencing. An affidavit revealed that he had posted threatening messages on social media platforms and websites, as well as sending intimidating emails to the jury and witnesses during the trial. Prosecutors described Lloyd as the self-proclaimed reverend of a "white supremacy movement."

Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a statement, condemning Lloyd's actions and emphasizing the Justice Department's commitment to pursuing anyone who attempts to obstruct federal trials through threats or intimidation. The guilty plea by Lloyd serves as a reminder that such actions will be met with the full force of the law.

During the plea agreement, Lloyd acknowledged intentionally selecting the targets of his threats based on their perceived or actual Jewish religion, referencing the witnesses and victims in the Bowers trial.

The attack on the Tree of Life synagogue on October 27, 2018, saw the shooter enter the premises during Saturday morning services, armed with an AR-15 rifle and three handguns. The gunman opened fire, resulting in the deaths of 11 innocent people and leaving seven others wounded.

In addition to his current charges, Lloyd has a history of criminal behavior. In May 2022, the Texas Department of Public Safety offered a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to his arrest. Lloyd had allegedly made a series of online comments threatening to carry a firearm onto the Texas Capitol grounds and confront any police officers who attempted to take action against him. The department's statement identified Lloyd as a convicted felon.

Lloyd's plea agreement now awaits acceptance by the court, and if approved, he could face a sentence of over six years in prison for his actions of obstructing justice and threatening the integrity of the federal hate crime trial.

/ Tuesday, September 19, 2023, 8:41 PM /

themes:  Shooting  Texas  Virginia  West Virginia

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