A Texas teen who made an ugly joke on Facebook is faced with charges of making a terrorist threat and the possibility of spending eight years in prison. Justin Carter, who was 18 in February and playing the online video game “League of Legends,” responded to being taunted as someone who was “crazy” and “messed up” by making a joke that was violent in nature. Jack Carter, Justin’s father, explained:
Someone had said something to the effect of “Oh, you’re insane, you’re crazy, you’re messed up in the head,” to which he replied, “Oh yeah, I’m real messed up in the head, I’m going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts,” and the next two lines were lol and jk.
A woman from Canada who may have been playing the game at the same time saw what Carter wrote, searched him on Google, discovered his old address was close to an elementary school and alerted police. They searched his home and found no weapons, only a computer.
Carter’s father said, in an interview on KVUE-TV, “Justin was the kind of kid who didn’t read the newspaper. He didn’t watch television. He wasn’t aware of current events. These kids, they don’t realize what they’re doing. They don’t understand the implications. They don’t understand public space.”
Carter’s parents have launched a change.org petition to convince Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot to release their son. It has already garnered 25,000 signatures.