Sunday, August 19, 2018
Public safety

Brandon woman jailed for missing court in Sandy Hook threats case

TAMPA — A Brandon woman was arrested Saturday after failing to show up for a court date last week in connection with allegations she sent death threats to a Palm Beach County man whose 6-year-old son died in the Sandy Hook school shootings.

Lucy Richards, 57, was arrested about 4:40 p.m. and charged with failing to appear in court. Jail records list the arrest location as Brandon Regional Hospital. Richards remained without bail in the Hillsborugh County jail on a hold from the U.S. Marshals Service.

Richards was due in federal court in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday for a change-of-plea hearing and sentencing. But that morning, she called the Federal Public Defender's Office and said she would not be appearing in court.

"Miss Richards called my investigator and said she's not coming," Assistant Federal Public Defender Robert Berube told the judge.

Berube said his client did not give a reason. Senior U.S. District Judge James Cohn issued an arrest warrant for Richards and canceled the hearing. He also revoked her bond.

BACKSTORY: Sandy Hook father bemoans 'the darkness' as feds charge Tampa woman with threatening him

Richards had been free on bond since she surrendered in court in December. She pleaded not guilty to four federal charges that she sent threatening email and voicemails to Lenny Pozner in January 2016. Each of the charges carries a maximum punishment of five years in federal prison. Richards may now face a prison term because she failed to show up and prosecutors could withdraw the plea agreement offer.

Pozner's 6-year-old son, Noah, was killed in the 2012 mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., which left 20 children and six adults dead.

Information from the South Florida Sun Sentinel was used in this report. Contact Tony Marrero at [email protected] or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.

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