Lancaster man will serve 3-10 years for stalking, threatening HR director of company that fired him

LANCASTER — A Lancaster man will serve up to 10 years in prison making a series of threatening phone calls to another man regarding his termination from a Lancaster County company several years ago, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.

Lewis T. Watkins, 61, was convicted of misdemeanor counts of stalking and making terroristic threats at trial in June. He was sentenced Tuesday to a prison term of 3 to 10 years by Lancaster County Judge Margaret Miller.

Assistant District Attorney Travis S. Anderson, who prosecuted the case, presented testimony at trial of a series of threatening calls Watkins made to the victim, who was director of human resources at the Manheim Township company that terminated Watkins, in September and October of 2016.

At Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, Anderson argued that Watkins needed to serve a term in state prison for the sake of protecting the community. Anderson played more than a dozen voicemail messages Watkins left for the victim, who wasn’t even employed by the company when Watkins was terminated in 2012.

After hearing Watkins state that he felt he still deserves certain information from his former company, Miller agreed. Miller said although the crimes are misdemeanors, they go to the heart of another person’s sense of safety and well-being.

Watkins threatened to show up at the business or the victim’s home and doing something to “make the news,” according to testimony.

Watkins repeatedly said he had “nothing whatsoever to lose” and was not concerned about potential consequences of his actions.

The company had to increase security measures at the facility and hired private guards to watch the victim’s home.