BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A man accused of harassing the family of a teacher who died in the Newtown school massacre was given a deadline Friday to accept a plea agreement or go to trial.
Matthew Mills is accused of approaching a younger sister of slain Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher Victoria Soto at a road race and angrily claiming the Connecticut shootings never took place. Soto was killed along with five other educators and 20 children inside the elementary school on Dec. 14, 2012.
Mills, who did not attend the hearing in Bridgeport, is charged with interfering with police and breach of peace for his actions at a November race in Stratford to raise money for scholarships in Soto's name. He allegedly told Jillian Soto that the tragedy had been fabricated and that her sister Victoria never existed.
Prosecutors have offered Mills a suspended sentence with probation. He would also have to stay away from the Soto family.
Defense attorney James Hardy said his client now lives in southern New Jersey and will take some time to consider the offer by prosecutors.
"He still maintains he was simply exercising his constitutional rights, but at this point it may be better to put this all behind him," Hardy said in comments reported by the Connecticut Post.
The judge told the defense attorney that the case would go to trial if Mills does not accept the plea offer by the next hearing date on April 18.