A teenager may lose out on more than just his account privileges after an argument over a popular video game was brought to the attention of authorities. League of Legends player Justin Carter may see felony charges for threats that he made on Facebook.
Carter was arrested this March after some incendiary comments were made on Facebook regarding his match. According to the Dallas Observer, another player online called Carter “crazy,” which sparked the teen to reply that he was “f**ed in the head, alright,” and that he was going to “shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of the innocent reign down.” He is also quoted as having said he was “going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts.”
Lawyers for the teen say he was merely joking, although it was in poor taste. The player also posted “jk” and “lol” following these frightening threats. The initial post, however, was enough to give Texas prosecutor’s probable cause. He was charged with making terrorist threats in the third degree, and Carter was arrested for his remarks online. Arrested February 14, 2013, Carter’s idle threats came just two months after the Sandy Hook school massacre.
According to the individual in Canada who sent the anonymous tip to the Austin Police Department in Texas, Justin had also made other off-color remarks that were visible on his Facebook page, including several posts suggesting that other users “shoot themselves in the face” or “drink bleach.” Within an hour of the League of Legends player’s online comments, the anonymous tip prompted investigation from local authorities. When Austin Regional Intelligence Center ran the teen’s name, it showed that he did indeed live within 100 yards of an elementary school.
Jailed for four months, the League of Legends player is facing up to 10 years in prison for his Facebook threats if he is convicted of felony charges of terrorism. During the months that Carter was incarcerated, his lawyer Don Flanary claims that jail was h*ll for the young offender. Justin’s lawyers, Flanary and Chad Van Brunt, who are working the case pro bono, attest that the young man was the victim of several brutal attacks, as well as sexual assault while incarcerated. He goes on to say that his client’s arrest is unfounded, unconstitutional and unwarranted. Without a clear and present danger or evidence of a true threat, the First Amendment should protect Carter’s right to free speech in this case, his lawyer insists.
From a fan of League of Legends to facing felony charges for alleged terrorist threats made on Facebook, this player spoke to CNN and offered his advice to anyone who likes to speak out online. People should be very cautious about what they say online, said Carter, because “it’s being recorded all the time if you say it on any website anywhere.” Carter adds that he never anticipated his comments would become so blown out of proportion. With the video game aficionado’s bail set at a steep half a million dollars, Carter might still be in jail today were it not for the kind and anonymous donation of $500,000 bail July 11, 2013. Carter currently resides with his grandmother in San Antonio while awaiting trial. According to the Comal County judicial records, a trial by jury is currently set for Justin Carter at 9 a.m. on October 27, 2014.
By Mariah Beckman