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Man charged with threatening violence against House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn

Stephen J. Hartzell has been charged with threatening to burn or bomb.
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Posted at 6:00 PM, Feb 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-20 23:11:12-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Norfolk man has been arrested after police say he threatened violence against House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D - Fairfax).

Stephen J. Hartzell has been charged with threatening to burn or bomb, a Class 5 felony.

The 23-year-old was taken into custody Thursday afternoon by Norfolk police.

The arrest comes after a Capitol Police investigation into a threatening message posted to Filler-Corn’s Facebook page on February 12. The speaker then reported the threat to Capitol Police.

Capitol Police did not reveal the nature of the threat and the post has since been removed.

“I cannot emphasize strongly enough how seriously we take threats such as these,” said Col. Anthony S. Pike, the Capitol Police chief. “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.”

Hartzell is being held without bond following his arrest. He is scheduled to appear in Norfolk General District Court on Friday.

Hartzell faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.