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Press Release

West Virginia Man Admits to Obstructing Tree of Life Trial

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Hardy Carroll Lloyd, 45, of Follansbee, West Virginia, pleaded guilty today to obstruction of the due administration of justice.

“Hardy Lloyd attempted to obstruct the federal hate crimes trial of the deadliest antisemitic attack in American history,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “His guilty plea underscores that anyone who attempts to obstruct a federal trial by threatening or intimidating jurors or witnesses will be met with the full force of the Justice Department.”

“It is absolutely reprehensible that the defendant threatened witnesses and jurors in the Tree of Life case, a tragedy that claimed innocent lives and emotionally scarred many in the Jewish community,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “The FBI will not tolerate the intimidation of citizens participating in our criminal justice system, and we will work with our partners to hold legally accountable anyone who threatens or carries out acts of violence against them.”

According to court documents and statements made in court, Lloyd admitted to making online threats to jurors and witnesses involved in the federal hate crimes trial in Pittsburgh of Robert Bowers, the Tree of Life Synagogue mass shooter. Lloyd, a self-proclaimed “reverend” of a white supremacy movement, distributed threatening social media posts, website comments, and emails during the trial. As part of his plea agreement, Lloyd stipulated that he intentionally selected the jury and government witnesses in the Bowers trial as the targets of his offense due to the actual or perceived Jewish religion of the witnesses and the Bowers victims. 

If the agreement is accepted by the court, Lloyd will be sentenced to 78 months in prison, which is expected to be the highest end of the sentencing range calculated under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. 

The FBI is investigating the case.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Randolph Bernard and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jarod Douglas for the Northern District of West Virginia are prosecuting the case.

Updated September 19, 2023

Domestic Terrorism
National Security
Press Release Number: 23-1026