Man pleads guilty to making threats to Newtown residents after school shooting
A man pleaded guilty on Thursday to making more than 90 threatening phone calls to residents of Newtown, Connecticut, two days after a gunman shot to death 26 children and adults there in one of the worst school massacres in U.S. history.
Wilfrido Cardenas Hoffman, 31, a Venezuelan national, is facing five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on charges he randomly phoned people in Newtown and threatened to kill them.
Prosecutors said Cardenas Hoffman claimed during the calls to be Adam Lanza, the gunman who killed his mother and then went to Sandy Hook Elementary School and fatally shot 20 children and six educators before turning a gun on himself.
“This is Adam Lanza. I’m gonna kill you. You’re dead. You’re dead. You hear me? You’re dead. With my machine gun,” Cardenas Hoffman said, according to authorities.
A plea agreement presented on Thursday to U.S. District Judge Michael Shea in Hartford would credit Cardenas Hoffman with time served since his arrest in June at Miami International Airport en route to Mexico from his home country.
His plea agreement came three days before the second anniversary of the Dec. 14, 2012, shootings.
As part of the deal, the defendant agreed to undergo psychiatric treatment and return to Venezuela after finishing his sentence. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 12.
Jennifer Mellon, his public defender, has said Cardenas Hoffman had received psychiatric care in Venezuela before making the calls.
(Editing by Frank McGurty and Peter Cooney)