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San Diego man indicted for allegedly threatening Maricopa County recorder

A San Diego man arrested Thursday is the latest out-of-state resident accused of threatening Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer.

William Hyde, 52, is accused of  leaving a threatening voicemail for Richer in November 2022, following the last statewide election. 

Hyde allegedly warned Richer that “we’re coming” and that Richer had better hide.

“You wanna cheat our elections? You wanna screw Americans out of true votes? We’re coming, [expletive]. You’d better [expletive] hide,” he allegedly said. 

The message followed a meeting of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to certify the county’s election results.

This is the third time someone has been indicted for making threats against Richer. 

A Missouri man, Walter Hoonstra, was charged in 2022, and  a Texas man, Frederick Francis Goltz, pleaded guilty in 2023.

Many other Arizona election workers have also experienced threats related to conspiracy theories that the 2022 and 2020 elections were “stolen.”

If convicted, Hyde could face up to five years in prison. 

“Intimidation of election officials strikes at the very heart of our democracy,” said United States Attorney for the Southern District of California Tara McGrath in a statement. “Even just one case can have a ripple effect. This Office will aggressively prosecute any attempt to intimidate, threaten, or frighten election officials as they engage in these critical duties.”

The case is part of a U.S. Justice Department task force that investigates threats of violence against election officials, workers and volunteers.

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Camryn Sanchez is a field correspondent at KJZZ covering everything to do with state politics.