A West Virginia man has pleaded guilty to threatening jurors and witnesses in the federal hate crime trial of a gunman who fatally shot 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018, the deadliest antisemitic attack in U.S. history.
Hardy Carroll Lloyd, 45, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal charge of obstruction of the due administration of justice, the Justice Department said.
As part of his plea deal, prosecutors have asked that he be sentenced to 78 months in prison, the maximum he could receive under federal sentencing guidelines.
According to prosecutors, Lloyd admitted to making online threats against jurors and witnesses in the federal trial of Robert Bowers, who was convicted in June of 63 counts in the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue. In August, a judge sentenced Bowers to death based on the recommendation of the jury.
Lloyd was arrested about a week after the sentencing. According to an affidavit, he wrote threatening posts on social media and websites, and also sent emails to the jury and witnesses during the trial.
Prosecutors said he described himself as the self-proclaimed “reverend” of a “white supremacy movement.”
“Hardy Lloyd attempted to obstruct the federal hate crimes trial of the deadliest antisemitic attack in American history,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. “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.”
Under the plea deal, Lloyd admitted that he intentionally selected the targets of his threats “due to the actual or perceived Jewish religion of the witnesses and the Bowers victims.”
On Oct. 27, 2018, the shooter entered the Tree of Life synagogue during Saturday morning services armed with an AR-15 rifle and three handguns and opened fire. Along with the 11 people killed, another seven were wounded.