FARMINGTON — A Strong man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to terrorizing staff at Strong Elementary School by trying to force his way into the building Jan. 7.

Christian A. Richards, 27, also pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of terrorizing during a Zoom conference that included Justice Roland Cole, Assistant District Attorney Kayla Alves and defense attorney Maurice Porter.

Christian Richards Franklin County Detention Center photo

Richards was indicted April 29. An indictment indicates there is enough evidence for a case to proceed to trial.

An investigation by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office revealed that Richards arrived at the school, became agitated with officials, who dialed 911, Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. said in January.

“It is alleged Richards began banging on windows and attempted to force his way into the school,” according to Nichols.

The school was locked down.

A conviction for felony terrorizing is punishable by up to five years in prison . A conviction for misdemeanor terrorizing is punishable by up to 364 days in jail.

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