A Fairfax County man is due in court Friday, after being arrested for threatening violence against Virginia House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, a Democrat who represents Fairfax County.
Stephen Hartzell, 23, was arrested Thursday in Norfolk, and charged with the Class 5 felony of “threatening to burn or bomb,” according to Virginia Capitol Police, in Richmond.
Police said Hartzell posted a threat to Filler-Corn’s Facebook page, on Feb. 12, which she reported to police. The threat has since been taken down, and police did not disclose the specifics.
“The members of our General Assembly must be able to go about their legislative duties knowing they are free from fear of intimidation aimed at preventing them from conducting the business of the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Col. Anthony Pike, the Capitol Police chief.
Hartzell is scheduled to appear in a hearing, in Norfolk General District Court. If convicted of the Class 5 felony, Hartzell would face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Several Democratic lawmakers have said they have been threatened by people upset over proposed new gun rules.
Online court records show Hartzell had been arrested in 2016 for carrying a concealed weapon, a misdemeanor, while being subject to a protective order. Instead, Hartzell pleaded no contest to a lesser misdemeanor, disorderly conduct, and served no jail time.
He was also arrested in 2015 for carrying a concealed weapon, a misdemeanor, but was found not guilty.