A 24-year-old man facing revocation of supervised release on a conviction for attempting to make a bomb is accused of firing a shot into federal Judge Timothy Corrigan's home in June.
The Justice Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshal's Service, Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford and other officials announced details Monday of the arrest of Aaron Richardson on one count of attempted murder of a U.S. district judge, stealing a firearm and numerous additional charges.
Richardson is accused of stealing at .30-06 rifle and a box of ammunition from the Sports Authority on Arlington Expressway on June 20 or 21, then using it to fire one shot into the home of Corrigan's Southside home on June 23.
A Jacksonville Sheriff's Office report says police were called to the home at 12:38 a.m. after Corrigan (pictured, right) and his wife heard a loud bang and found a bullet hole in their window and glass sliding door.
FBI Special Agent Michelle Klimt said the bullet missed Corrigan by a few inches and he sustained minor cuts from broken glass. Investigators learned that the bullet went through two walls and the window.
"This investigation started with no witnesses and no evidence, other than the fragment of a bullet recovered at Judge Corrigan's home," Klimt said. "Through cooperative effort, we stand here today to announce the indictment of Aaron Richardson."
The indictment was unsealed Monday.
According to a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office arrest report, Richardson was arrested June 25 at his Westside apartment on a U.S. marshal hold -- less than 48 hours after the shot was fired at Corrigan's home. The arrest report notes he received a dog bite from a K9 during the arrest after refusing to come out of his home.
At Monday's news conference, acting U.S. Attorney Lee Bentley III said that Richardson, while on supervised released on the sentence on the conviction for manufacturing an incendiary device, was arrested on burglary and other charges by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. Richardson had failed to appear before Corrigan for June 3 and 11 court dates on violation of the terms of his release on the 2008 conviction.
Bentley said Richard likely was facing a return to federal prison when he is accused of stealing the rifle and shooting into the judge's home.
"This crime represented an assault upon the entire judicial system," Bentley said. "Both (Judge) and Mrs. Corrigan have cooperated fully with the investigation and they've shown exceptional heroism."
Channel 4 went to Richardson’s address Monday night to see if anyone living in the area remembered Richardson. Neighbor Heather Beemer told Channel 4 she knew something was going on next door to her Westside apartment complex when the FBI and U.S. Marshal’s showed up, but she said she didn’t know what her neighbor had been charged with until news came out Monday.
“I’m just glad he’s gone,” said Beemer. “Honestly, I’m just glad he’s gone and hope to God he doesn’t come back, because he was staying there with his mom.”
Beemer said she didn’t know Richardson, but saw him around her apartment complex. Richardson’s mother no longer lives in Beemer’s apartment complex and Beemer says that’s something she’s thankful for.
“Very shy, didn’t engage in any type of conversation,” said Beemer. “He was just very weird. He’s not like your normal guy (or) person you would talk to.”
Richardson is charged with attempted murder of a U.S. district judge, discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, theft of a firearm from a gun dealer, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a stolen firearm, impersonating a police officer, and five counts of false statements to an FBI agent and nine counts of false statements to a probation officer.
While Richardson will be tried in the Jacksonville District of the Middle District of Florida, the federal judge from south Georgia will hear the case. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in federal prison.