23-year-old man faces 10 years in prison for Facebook threat of Virginia House Speaker

Crime

Virginia Democrats made history Wednesday when they unanimously elected Eileen Filler-Corn as new House Speaker on the first day of the 2020 General Assembly session.

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A 23-year-old Virginia man faces up to 10 years in prison after being charged with threatening House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax).

According to Virginia Capitol Police, Stephen J. Hartzell was arrested Thursday afternoon by Norfolk authorities on a felony charge of threatening to burn or bomb. Hartzell’s arrest came after an investigation into a post he made on Filler-Corn’s Facebook page on Feb. 12.

“I’d like to commend our investigators for their fast and diligent response to this matter,” Col. Anthony S. Pike, the Capitol Police chief, said in a statement. “Our government was founded on a principle of citizen participation. Violence or the threat of it, whether aimed at those who legislate or their staff members, is not a part of that equation and it will not be tolerated under any circumstances.”

Authorities said Hartzell is a native of Fairfax County but had recently lived in Norfolk.

Stay with 8News as this story continues to develop.

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