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White supremacist sentenced to prison for obstructing Pittsburgh synagogue shooting trial

The federal courthouse in Wheeling, W.V.
The U.S. Library of Congress
The federal courthouse in Wheeling, W.V.

A West Virginia-based white supremacist was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison Wednesday for his attempt to intimidate jurors and witnesses in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting trial.

Hardy Carroll Lloyd was arrested in August for witness tampering and obstruction of justice — charges that stemmed from online posts in which the government said he "engag[ed] in threatening conduct directed at the jury and government witnesses" during the trial of Robert Bowers in Pittsburgh.

Bowers was sentenced to death this summer for killing 11 worshipers and wounding six others during an attack on a synagogue in 2018.

Lloyd, a self-proclaimed “reverend” of a white supremacy movement, grew up in Pittsburgh and has a lengthy criminal history of making violent threats and illegally possessing weapons.

In a September plea deal, Lloyd admitted to obstruction of justice: Charges of witness tampering and transmitting threats by email were dropped.

“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 statement announcing Lloyd’s guilty plea.

As part of his plea agreement, Lloyd stipulated that he targeted the jury and government witnesses in the Bowers trial due to "the actual or perceived Jewish religion of several government witnesses and of the victims of Bowers' hate crimes."

William Ihlenfeld, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Virginia, announced Lloyd’s 78-month prison sentence in a statement Wednesday.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says Lloyd's prison sentence is the “highest end of the sentencing range."

Federal investigators also connected Lloyd to dozens of antisemitic stickers and flyers placed throughout Pittsburgh neighborhoods with sizable Jewish populations during the trial.

According to the criminal complaint, Lloyd wrote a series of emails and blog posts that called for so-called “lone wolves” to target synagogues and Jewish people, and that described a plan to obtain the names of jury members.

The criminal complaint also details Lloyd’s other online activity, including social media comments calling for the death of Jewish, transgender, and Black people.

The U.S. Attorney’s office worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate and prosecute the case.

“The FBI will not tolerate the intimidation of citizens participating in our criminal justice system,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray in September. “It is absolutely reprehensible that the defendant threatened witnesses and jurors in the [Bowers] case, a tragedy that claimed innocent lives and emotionally scarred many in the Jewish community.”

Kiley Koscinski covers city government, policy and how Pittsburghers engage with city services. She also works as a fill-in host for All Things Considered. Kiley has previously served as a producer on The Confluence and Morning Edition.