A West Virginia man pleaded guilty to obstructing justice in the trial of the deadly Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, officials say.
Hardy Lloyd, 45, admitted to targeting jurors and witnesses online in an attempt to “obstruct the federal hate crimes trial of the deadliest antisemitic attack in American history,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a Sept. 19 news release from the Department of Justice.
Lloyd of Follansbee was indicted on charges of obstruction of the due administration of justice, transmitting threats in interstate and foreign commerce, and witness tampering, the DOJ said Aug. 30. He could face more than six years in federal prison, officials said.
Lloyd’s attorneys declined to comment on the case to McClatchy News.
“Lloyd, a self-proclaimed ‘reverend’ of a white supremacy movement, distributed threatening social media posts, website comments and emails during the trial,” officials said in the release.
Lloyd used his website to post names, photos and other information about those involved in the trial because of the “actual or perceived Jewish religion of several government witnesses,” according to the plea agreement. He also attempted to reach jurors by email, saying he would obtain their information after the trial if they didn’t “vote the right way,” the plea agreement says.
The perpetrator of the shooting was sentenced to death in August. The man killed 11 congregants at the Tree of Life synagogue in 2018, which remains “the deadliest attack on the Jewish faith in U.S. history,” according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“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,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in the release.