Kids say the darndest things. Sometimes, they even talk about slaughter during a ritual game of League of Legends. And in the case of Justin Carter, an 18-year-old living in Texas, the joke may have just ruined his life.
Justin Carter was arrested for making terroristic threats. It started while playing a game of League of Legends, where he was engaged in an argument with another gamer. The conflict played out further on Facebook, where this other individual accused him of being insane. He retorted with a witty (think smartass) comment, that wasn’t exactly taken as satirical.
According to Carter’s father, Justin replied with the following: “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.” Jack Carter, Justin’s father, retains that his son was only being sarcastic and even included “LOL” and “JK” towards the end of his rather uncouth comment. Some people just can’t take a joke, right?
In addition, Justin’s father says that his son doesn’t pay attention to current news and doesn’t ”understand public space.” In other words, it was a moment of weakness, in that the boy wasn’t thinking quite so clearly about what consequences there may be. (I use “boy” loosely here since Carter is 18, which means he is legally an adult.)
A woman residing in Canada disagreed, however. She took his claims very seriously, so she looked up Carter’s Austin, Texas address and searched out nearby schools. There is a school within 100 yards of where Carter resides, so she called the police. Justin was arrested as a result and has been sitting in a jail since March of this year.
Justin Carter’s trial started on July 1 (yesterday), for charges of terroristic threats- if convicted he could spend up to eight years in jail.
While the whole situation does seem to be dire, it happened just months after the Sandy Hook incident, it appears that Carter may actually be a scapegoat here. Carter’s friends and family have started a petition at Change.org claiming several poorly executed details concerning his investigation.
The petition claims that law enforcement did not actually look into his alleged wrongdoings. Instead, he was arrested first and questions were asked later. Much later, in fact, because according to the petition Justin wasn’t questioned until a month after he was arrested. Even his home wasn’t even searched for weapons until later that month.
If the police were truly concerned about the issue, you would think they’d conduct a thorough investigation into the matter and get to the bottom of it as soon as possible. If the petition is to be believed, law enforcement did exactly the opposite. This is all despite claims to KVUE-TV that they take all threats seriously, like Justin’s.
At the court proceedings on July 1, it’s possible that more evidence will be made available. We will keep you posted if anything significant emerges.
Until then, what are your thoughts on the whole situation? Do you believe Justin Carter deserves to spend eight years in jail and be branded a criminal for his remark? Let us know in the comments below!