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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Tampa Area Resident Indicted for Threatening Sandy Hook Parent

A Tampa resident is indicted for threatening a Sandy Hook parent residing in the Southern District of Florida.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.

Lucy Richards, 57, of Tampa, was indicted in the Southern District of Florida (Case No. 16-CR-80206) on four counts of transmitting threats in interstate commerce, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 875(c).  If convicted, each count carries a maximum term of five years’ imprisonment.  Richards was arrested on December 5, 2016 and made her initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Mark Pizzo in the Middle District of Florida.  Richard is scheduled for an initial appearance in Fort Lauderdale on December 19, 2016. 

On December 14, 2012, the Sandy Hook School shooting occurred in Newtown, Connecticut, and resulted in the death of 20 children and 6 adults.  According to the court record in this case, including allegations made at the initial hearing, on or about January 10, 2016, Richards made a series of death threats to a parent of a child killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting.  The parent resides in South Florida.  Richards’ believed that the school shooting was a hoax and never happened allegedly motivated her to make the charged threats.

Mr. Ferrer commended the outstanding investigative efforts of the FBI.  Mr. Ferrer also thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida for their assistance.  The case is being prosecuted in the Southern District of Florida by Assistant United States Attorney Karen E. Gilbert.

An indictment contains mere allegations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Updated December 7, 2016