FARMINGTON — A man from Strong pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of terrorizing for communicating threats to kill three staff members and causing a lockdown at the Strong Elementary School on Jan. 7, 2021.

Christian Richards, 28, entered the pleas with his attorney, Maurice Porter, at his side at Franklin County Unified Court.

Christian Richards Franklin County Detention Center photo

If the case had gone to trial, there would have been testimony that Richards went to the school and demanded his daughter be released, Deputy District Attorney James Andrews said.

He pounded on the windows and was yelling and threatening the secretary, principal and nurse. Franklin County deputies were called and the school doors were locked and windows secured, Andrews said.

Detective Stephen Charles talked to Richards and deescalated the situation.

Judge Brent Davis accepted the pleas and agreed to defer sentencing for two years under an agreement that Richards must complete in the next two years. He needs to continue counseling and take his medication, Davis said.


If successful, he will be able to withdraw his plea to the felony charge and it will be dismissed. He will plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge and be sentenced to 364 days, all suspended, and one year probation.

That means he will be under supervision for three years, Andrews said.

If he doesn’t complete the agreement, he faces an open sentencing on both charges. A conviction for felony terrorizing is punishable by up to five years in prison. A conviction on the lockdown charge is punishable by up to 364 days in prison.

Richards remained employed while the case was waiting to be resolved, received counseling and went on medicine, Andrews said.

He will be on personal recognizance bail during the next two years. He is not allowed to contact the three staff members at the school and cannot return to the school.

He is to appear in court Feb. 26, 2024.

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