MILFORD, Connecticut (Reuters) - A Venezuelan national who made dozens of threatening phone calls to residents of Newtown, Connecticut, in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook School massacre there was sentenced on Thursday to a year in prison, followed by deportation.
Wilfrido Cardenas Hoffman, 31, had pleaded guilty in December to making more than 90 calls to residents in which he claimed to be Adam Lanza, the man who killed 20 children and 6 staff at the school in 2012 in one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history.
Deirdre Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, said the calls “compounded the collective suffering of all of the citizens of Newtown and needlessly stressed law enforcement resources at a critical time.”
Cardenas Hoffman’s lawyer argued he had suffered mental health issues before the calls.
U.S. District Judge Michael Shea on Thursday credited Cardenas Hoffman with time served since his arrest at an airport in Miami in June, but said he will have to serve at least three more months of imprisonment. He will then be deported to Venezuela, where he will remain on three years probation and be required to take part in a psychiatric treatment plan.
According to authorities, Cardenas Hoffman had said in his phone calls to residents that he was Lanza, and threatened to kill them with a machine gun. Lanza had turned the gun on himself after the Dec. 14, 2012 shootings.
Editing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Chris Reese