Pa. lottery loser waives preliminary hearing

    A Philadelphia woman accused of making repeated obscene and threatening phone calls to Pennsylvania Lottery headquarters has waived her right to a preliminary hearing after prosecutors consolidated some charges.

    Dauphin County prosecutors say 47-year-old Towanda Shields made the calls because she was frustrated by losing on scratch-off lottery tickets. Her public defender declined comment Friday.

    Shields waived Thursday’s hearing after prosecutors consolidated 25 counts each of harassment and stalking into one count each. That was done because both crimes involve a continuing course of conduct, meaning individual charges needn’t be filed for each incident. She’s also charged with three counts of making terroristic threats.

    Shields allegedly told lottery employees she hired someone to harm their families and knew where they lived.

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal