Texas Judge Rules LoL Player’s ‘Terrorist Threat’ Case Will Move Forward

Back in June of this year we reported on the plight of 19-year-old Texan Justin Carter, who was arrested back in March for making a terrorist threat online. The incident happened in February of this year. Justin Carter was either playing League of Legends or engaging in a forum conversation when another player wrote a comment calling him insane.

Carter went a little overboard with his response, according to the report. His father (speaking to local media) claims that his son said something along the lines of "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." His comments were followed by "j/k" and "lol," but forum readers didn't take it that way. Keep in mind that the timing of this comment was a couple of months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings that happened in Newtown, Connecticut.

A Canadian woman, concerned about the comments, looked up Carter’s Austin address, noted that he lived close to an elementary school, and called the police. He was arrested and charged with making a terrorist threat. He has been in jail ever since and spent his 19th birthday in jail.

The story led to a petition calling on Texas to let the kid go, which ultimately garnered thousands of signatures online. Eventually Carter got out on bail. The latest attempt by Carter's legal team to get the case dismissed was denied by a Comal County, Texas court judge – according to San Antonio's KENS 5 news (as reported by Kotaku). Which means that Carter's innocent (though clearly stupid) attempt at humor will have to be played out in a Texas court.

If convicted, Carter could face up to eight years in prison.

We will have more on this story as it develops.

Source: Kotaku

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  1. 0
    Davvolun says:

    First off: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shouting_fire_in_a_crowded_theater#Criticism

    Second off: http://civil-liberties.yoexpert.com/civil-liberties-general/is-it-legal-to-shout-%22fire%22-in-a-crowded-theater-19421.html

    For those who don't want to click, the gist is that the '[falsely] shouting fire in a crowded theater' argument is hopelessly outdated in our legal system (and yet gets brought up with *every* *single* *story* about this case).

    From the second link: 'But merely falsely shouting "fire" does not break the law, even if it risks others’ safety.' Lock the doors of a theater and shout fire, you're probably breaking the law. Start handing out baseball bats and shout fire, you're probably breaking the law. But just shouting fire is insufficient to be considered reckless endangerment.

  2. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    AS has already been said, there is a big difference between what this kid did and yelling fire in a crowded theater. Doi you think the punishment should be the same for yelling fire in a theater and talking with a friend about doing it at some undisclosed ptime in the future? If so, you are in "thought crime" territory. In the US, we are not supposed to punish "thought crimes". 

    While an investigation of some sort might have been warranted, I think they have far exceeded any "necessary caution" long before this point. This kid made a joke. He had no actual plans. He had no actual means. So why are we treating him like he is Adam Lanza?

    E. Zachary Knight
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  3. 0
    Thaylin says:

    The reason yelling fire in a crowded theatre is punishable is because it causes an IMMEDIATE danger and can cause the loss of like, not because the comment is horrifying..I have a right to say what ever I want as long as it doe not cause direct harm to another person, shouting fire causes direct harm, what this kid does not..


    This is why we have the 1st amendment, what this kid said should be covered under this. The police should have investigated, realize that there was no danger and that was it, period.

  4. 0
    Scott1701c says:

    I think the punishment is overly harsh. If convicted he could face years in prison.

    However, I agree that there needs to be a Criminal Prosecution. I see this like someone yelling "FIRE" in a crowded Theater. Just the fear a person is cause by such thoughtless comments is horrifying.

    But, like I said before, I do not want to see more then probation as punishment.

  5. 0
    Haunted Quiche says:

    And so you think a single ill-considered joke is enough to destroy a persons entire life?

    Still, nevermind…. a stretch in prison for no decent reason is pretty likely to turn him into a nutjob, so I guess we can just wait for nearly a decade and see which location he has his actual shooting in.

  6. 0
    Thaylin says:

    do you not understand the difference between a threat and a joke? It was a joke not a threat, sure it was off color and poor joke, but to label it as a threat is asinine.. 

  7. 0
    Neo_DrKefka says:

    Here is my problem with this issue. He believed he could say this and make a threat and there would be no conquences. When you see these people online doing this ANYWHERE they laugh. Something like this needed to happen. Funny thing about the gaming community they think it’s okay to ban speech they feel offends political speech but if you threaten to kill or even admit to raping someone it should get pushed under the rug.

  8. 0
    Longjocks says:

    I'm still disgusted about this story, now I'm horribly dismayed about so many more things about the US legal system (if I weren't sickened by it enough already). This kid's comment is similar to something I have often said. The difference being that I don't finish with "j/k" or "lol" because I shouldn't have to. This kid's admission of humour should have just been the icing on the cake to cement it as a joke.

    "(though clearly stupid)" – I like to think of myself as an intelligent, thoughtful person with a dark, twisted sense of humour. So I take it each time I express this humour I'm being stupid? No, the only stupid thing this kid did was forget that he's in a world populated by stupid people.

    "Keep in mind that the timing of this comment was a couple of months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings that happened in Newtown, Connecticut." – Equally, keep in mind that school shootings are almost like a passtime in the US, so getting these jokes out in the open is best done quickly before the next shooting. Wait… I've just been told that kids die pretty much every week over there due to guns. Shit. I guess we have a shorter turnaround time on jokes than I first thought.

  9. 0
    David says:

    This is insanity.  If law enforcement either can not or will not discern somebody just saying something from a real, credible threat, then we as a nation are in serious trouble.

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