A Florida woman who believes the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting massacre was a hoax has been arrested and charged after sending a series of death threats to the parent of one of the victims, prosecutors say.
Lucy Richards, 57, of Tampa, is accused of sending threatening messages to a person in South Florida whose child was one of those killed when a man opened fire at the elementary school in Connecticut, killing 26 people.
“You gonna die, death is coming to you real soon,” Richards allegedly wrote in one of the four messages, all of which were sent on January 10, according to court documents. A second message said in part: “Death is coming to you real soon and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
“Richards’ [belief] that the school shooting was a hoax and never happened allegedly motivated her to make the charged threats,” the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday.
Richards has been indicted on four counts of transmitting threats in interstate commerce. If convicted on all counts, Richards could face up to 20 years in prison. Her initial court appearance is scheduled for December 19.
The December 2012 massacre happened at about 9:30 a.m. when 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, a town about 7 miles (11 km) east of Danbury. His violence at the school lasted only about five minutes but claimed the lives of six adults and 20 children before Lanza killed himself.
There is no credible evidence to suggest that the incident was a hoax, but conspiracy theories have emerged that claim those involved were actors. Some of those claim that the event was staged by the government to push for stricter gun control laws, despite the fact that the circumstances of the massacre as well as its victims are well documented.
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