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Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Crafton man sentenced to prison on gun charges (USA)

A self-proclaimed white supremacist who praised the killings of three Pittsburgh police officers and encouraged more of the same was sentenced to 30 months in prison Tuesday on federal firearms charges.

Hardy Lloyd, 32, of Crafton pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in April. He was arrested in May 2009 after state probation officers received a tip from an FBI agent who saw a photograph of Mr. Lloyd posted on his blog in which he was holding a rifle.

During a May 27, 2009, search of his home, probation officers found 10 weapons. Mr. Lloyd was prohibited from having firearms because he was on probation from a 2004 case, in which he was accused of killing a female acquaintance, Lori Hann.

Although he was found to have acted in self-defense, Mr. Lloyd was found guilty of illegally possessing a firearm. He was sentenced to 111/2 to 23 months in jail to be followed by three years probation.

Mr. Lloyd's therapist, Anthony Mastroianni, who has been treating him for 10 years, told the court Tuesday his patient has Asperger's syndrome. He believes Mr. Lloyd has made significant progress in his treatment over the past year and is now functioning at about the age level of a 10th-grader.

Defense attorney John Knorr asked the judge to recommend Mr. Lloyd be imprisoned in a facility close to Pittsburgh so he could continue treatment with Mr. Matroianni.

He faced an advisory guideline range sentence of 24 to 30 months.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret Picking told the judge that she believed Mr. Lloyd is a danger to himself and others.

"He exhorted others to commit acts of violence," she said, referring to his blog. "Others have tried throughout his entire life to rehabilitate him, and all have failed."

Senior U.S. District Judge Gustave Diamond called the guns found at Mr. Lloyd's home "a small arsenal."

"He has made expressions that indicate a potentially violent character," the judge said. "Whether these accurately reflect his inner nature and whether he would act out those statements ... I believe he is a potential danger to himself and others."

In addition to his prison term, Judge Diamond also ordered Mr. Lloyd to serve three years on supervised release. During that time, as part of the plea agreement, Mr. Lloyd is not permitted to run any type of website.

Post Gazzette