Man convicted of trying to kill judge
FBI says Aaron Richardson fired shot into federal judge's home
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After a federal judge took the stand to testify about a shot fired into his home in June 2013, a jury found Aaron Richardson guilty of attempted murder and 23 other charges.
Prosecutors said that when Richardson fired a shot through the sliding-glass door of Judge Timothy Corrigan's home, he was facing revocation of supervised release on a conviction for attempting to make a bomb.
FBI Special Agent Michelle Klimt said the bullet missed Corrigan by a few inches and he suffered minor cuts from broken glass. Investigators learned that the bullet went through two walls and the window.
Richardson was arrested at his Westside apartment less than 48 hours after the shot was fired at Corrigan's home.
"This investigation started with no witnesses and no evidence, other than the fragment of a bullet recovered at Judge Corrigan's home," Klimt said at the time.
Richardson was accused of stealing a .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 Corrigan's Southside home.
DOCUMENT: 2013 indictment of Aaron Richardson
Richardson was caught on surveillance cameras at the sporting goods store.
Richardson was 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, five counts of false statements to an FBI agent and nine counts of false statements to a probation officer.
Prosecutors said Richardson had forged Corrigan's name on a document ordering all state charges against Richardson be dropped.
The document read: “The defendant is hereby fully exonerated of any and all charges and penalties including supervised released/probation; originating from the Federal, State, Traffic, and Civil courts” … and went on to say “it is also ordered that all bonding agencies who received payment from the defendant and/or defendant’s family are to provide full reimbursement of funds.”
He may have been trying to kill the judge to cover up the forgery.
"Mr. Richardson was facing a number of prosecutions in the state attorney’s office for the 7th Circuit. He was charged with three felonies there," Assistant U.S. Attorney Mac Heavener said. "We think he attempted to kill the judge so the judge could not avow that order."
The jury found Richardson guilty of all but one of the offenses. Prosecutors said they will request the maximum sentence of life in prison. No sentencing date was set.
"It was an assault not only on the judge, but really on the justice system," Heavener said.
Because the victim in the case was a judge from the Middle District of Florida, a federal judge from Alabama was brought in to preside in the case.
Corrigan was present when the verdict was read and received hugs from people in the courtroom. He declined comment until after Richardson is sentenced.
Prosecutors said Corrigan's behavior as a federal judge was unaffected by the attempt on his life.
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