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Press Release

Pennsylvania man guilty of threatening federal, circuit court judges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia

HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA – Keith Thomas Dougherty, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was found guilty last week of threatening federal and state judges, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II announced.

After a three-day trial, Dougherty, 66, was found guilty of one count of “Mailing Threatening Communications” and two counts of “Interstate Communication with Threat to Injure.” Dougherty made threats to injure federal and state judges in the Middle and Western Districts of Pennsylvania in May 2017, March 2019, and January 2020. During trial, a letter and emails were shown where Dougherty threatened the “bashing of sculls” of three state court judges, “ISIS Style Beheading” of three district court judges and magistrates and threatened the lives of three circuit court judges by “AR 15’s.” Emails were also shown to have Dougherty threatening Western District of Pennsylvania U.S. District Court Judge Joy F. Conti by ordering “a sniper” to “shoot Conti in the head just to shut her up.”

Dougherty faces up to 10 ten years of incarceration and fine of up to $250,000 for the mailing charge and faces up to five years of incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for each of the interstate communication charges. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys David J. Perri and Shawn M. Adkins of the Northern District of West Virginia prosecuted the case as Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.  The U.S. Marshal Service, the FBI, the U.S Postal Inspection Service, and the Pennsylvania Capitol Police investigated.

Chief U.S. District Judge Colm F. Connolly of the District of Delaware presided.

Updated December 8, 2021