Jean J. Puskar/AP
Robert Bowers’ trial took place in federal court in Pittsburgh.
A West Virginia man was arrested Thursday after engaging in “threatening behavior” toward jurors and government witnesses. Pittsburgh Synagogue ShooterThe lawyers announced.
Hardy Carol Lloyd, 45, was charged with obstruction of justice, sending threats and witness tampering, according to a criminal complaint. Prosecutors described Lloyd as a “self-proclaimed ‘reverend’ of the white supremacy movement,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia said in a statement. Report Thursday.
Lloyd is accused of making threatening social media posts, online comments and emails to jurors and witnesses in the 2018 trial of Robert Bowers, who was sentenced to death for killing 11 worshipers and wounding six others at a Pittsburgh synagogue. said.
Bowers was there found guilty He faces 63 federal charges, including murder and hate crimes, in the shooting, the worst attack on a Jewish community in America.
“Jury trials are a hallmark of the American justice system, and attempts to intimidate witnesses or jurors are met with a strong response,” William Ihlenfeld, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia, said in a statement. “The use of hateful threats in an attempt to undermine the investigation is particularly troubling.”
Lloyd has yet to file a petition. Her attorney, public defender Elizabeth Cross, declined to comment when contacted by CNN.
Prosecutors allege that Lloyd began making online posts about Bowers’ trial in early May — while jury selection was underway and the trial had not yet begun — and continued until the jury reached its verdict in June.
Lloyd’s emails and online posts encouraged attacks like the 2018 shooting and expressed support for the gunman, according to the affidavit. He also requested identifying information about trial jurors and witnesses, according to court documents.
In May, Lloyd emailed various recipients, including several local news outlets covering the trial, with a threatening message about a juror in another case who was killed after voting against the defendant.
In early June, Lloyd posted photos of some of the victims and witnesses on a page titled “Enemies” on his website. The website says the page, called “Enemies,” provides information for “lone wolves,” according to the affidavit.
The next day, he posted a picture and some personal information about one of the witnesses on the “Enemies” page, the document says. A federal agent notified the witness that they were “concerned, but they weren’t going to change their lifestyle,” it said, taking the witness stand days after Lloyd allegedly took office.
According to the affidavit, law enforcement also notified Lloyd of other witnesses seeking information.
At the time of the investigation, Lloyd was living in West Virginia, less than an hour from Pittsburgh, and had been in the Pittsburgh area at least a few times since early May, according to the affidavit citing cellphone records and license plate scanners. According to local news reports and social media posts in the affidavit, stickers and flyers promoting Lloyd’s website were seen around town.
“We’ve been waiting for this arrest for some time,” Brad Orsini, senior national security adviser for the Secure Community Network, told CNN Thursday.
The A secure social network, a security and defense organization for the North American Jewish community, set up a command post in Pittsburgh during the investigation to help monitor potential threats, Orsini said. He said many community members he spent time with during the trial were “very scared” of Lloyd.
“I’m incredibly relieved for the entire Pittsburgh community that he’s been arrested and taken into custody,” Orsini said.