Phoenix man sentenced to more than three years for stalking

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- A Phoenix man has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for stalking a woman in Maryland.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says 49 year old David Charles Richards will serve 42 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for stalking a woman in Maryland.

As part of his sentence, the judge ordered that Richards have no contact with the victim or her family.

"David Charles Richards violated the federal law against stalking by using the Internet to engage in a course of conduct that was intended to and did place a person in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury," said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to Richards' guilty plea, from December 2006 through November 2011, Richards used the Internet, telephone, e-mail, and the U.S. mail to stalk a woman in Maryland, including threatening to kill the woman. Richards and the woman had a prior romantic relationship, which the woman described as both troubled and violent.

According to Richards' plea agreement, after not having any contact with the victim for almost 15 years, in June 2006, Richards contacted the victim's sister telling her that he still loved the victim but wanted to hurt her.

Beginning in July 2006 and during each subsequent year, the victim sought and was granted protective orders forbidding Richards to contact her. On December 11, 2006, the victim discovered that a website had been created in her name, which included a countdown clock to the expiration of the protective order the victim had taken out against Richards and other threatening material.

In March 2008, Richards attempted to purchase a firearm in Arizona but failed to disclose that he was subject to a protective order. He was denied purchase of a firearm by ATF due to his prohibited person status.

In December 2009, Richards reportedly mailed a threatening note, along with torn and shredded pieces of the protective orders that had been served upon him, to the victim's home. Through January 2010, Richards left the victim at least eight voice-mails totaling one hour and 40 minutes in length. Richards continued to post threats on websites directed at the victim, including as recently as November 2011.