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Self-proclaimed white supremacist Hardy Lloyd pleads guilty to threatening jurors, witnesses in Pittsburgh synagogue shooting trial

White supremacist Hardy Lloyd admits to threatening jurors, witnesses in Pittsburgh synagogue shooti
White supremacist Hardy Lloyd admits to threatening jurors, witnesses in Pittsburgh synagogue shooti 00:31

WHEELING, W. Va. (KDKA) -- Self-proclaimed white supremacist Hardy Lloyd pleaded guilty to threatening jurors and witnesses in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting trial

Lloyd, 45, of Follansbee, West Virginia, pleaded guilty Tuesday to obstruction of the due administration of justice, the Department of Justice announced. As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors said he stipulated that he targeted the jury and witnesses because of the witnesses and victims' Jewish religion.   

If the court accepts the agreement, prosecutors said he'll be sentenced to 78 months in prison, which is expected to be the highest end of the sentencing range. 

According to the Department of Justice, Lloyd, a self-proclaimed "reverend" of a white supremacy movement, made threatening social media posts, website comments and emails during the trial. He also put stickers in predominantly Jewish areas of Pittsburgh, directing people to a website with his threats and antisemitic messages, prosecutors said. 

During the trial, the gunman was sentenced to death for shooting and killing 11 worshipers at a Squirrel Hill synagogue in 2018. It was the deadliest antisemitic attack in the nation's history. 

In the affidavit, investigators said Google reached out to the FBI in March about YouTube comments allegedly made by Lloyd where he advocates for killing Jewish people and pushes people to his website. 

In May, investigators said Lloyd started posting about the synagogue shooting trial and continued to post about it, and white supremacist stickers with his website address were discovered in Pittsburgh.

The criminal filing said he posted pictures of witnesses testifying in the trial and doxing -- or divulging their personal information and addresses -- while exhorting his followers to take action.  

"Hardy Lloyd attempted to obstruct the federal hate crimes trial of the deadliest antisemitic attack in American history," said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland in a news release. "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."

For the past two decades, Lloyd has spewed antisemitism hate and has been sentenced to prison three times. He returned to prison in 2019 for violating his probation, dropping neo-Nazi leaflets throughout the city's East End and posting a call for violence in the wake of the city's proposed assault weapons ban. He was later released in October 2020, prompting a warning from the Jewish Federation Of Greater Pittsburgh. 

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