News

Phoenix Man Pleads Guilty to Stalking a Woman in Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2013

Baltimore, Maryland - David Charles Richards, age 49, of Phoenix, Arizona, pleaded guilty today to stalking a woman in Maryland.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to Richards’ guilty plea, from December 2006 through November 2011, Richards used the internet, telephone, electronic mail and the U.S. mail to stalk a woman in Maryland, including threatening to kill the woman. Richards and the woman had a prior romantic relationship, which the woman described as both troubled and violent.

According to Richards’ plea agreement, after not having any contact with the victim for almost 15 years, in June 2006, Richards contacted the victim’s sister telling her that he still loved the victim but wanted to hurt her. Beginning in July 2006, and during each subsequent year, the victim sought and was granted protective orders forbidding Richards to contact her. On December 11, 2006, the victim discovered that a website had been created in her name, which included a countdown clock to the expiration of the protective order the victim had taken out against Richards and other threatening material. In March of 2008, Richards attempted to purchase a firearm in Arizona, but failed to disclose that he was subject to a protective order. He was denied purchase of a firearm by ATF due to his prohibited person status. In December 2009, Richards mailed a threatening note, along with torn and shredded pieces of the protective orders that had been served upon him, to the victim’s home. Through January 2010, Richards left the victim at least eight voicemails totaling one hour and 40 minutes in length. Richards continued to post threats on websites directed at the victim, including as recently as November 2011. Richards’ long campaign of harassment and threats placed the victim in fear of death and serious harm.

Richards faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for stalking. U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander has scheduled sentencing for June 24, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. Richards remains detained.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI agents in Baltimore and Phoenix for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Rachel M. Yasser, who is prosecuting the case.


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