The 19-year old League of Legends player incarcerated for making "a terrorist threat" about shooting up a kindergarten has been released on bail, following an anonymous donation, according to a report on MSNBC.
Justin Carter, a resident of San Antonio, Tex., has been in jail for more than four months, following a remark he made in a Facebook argument. Back in February, responding to a taunt that he is "crazy," Carter replied, "I'm f-ed in the head alright. I think I'ma shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of the innocent rain down and eat the beating heart of one of them."
Carter was reported to a crime-line by a woman who saw the Facebook conversation, took a screenshot and passed it on. A judge set his bail at $500,000 awaiting a court appearance on July 16. Following a series of attacks from fellow inmates, Carter had been in solitary confinement and on suicide watch. The bail was posted earlier today.
"Law enforcement in this case didn't use their discretion to notice, this isn't real, this isn't an actual threat," said Donald Flanary, a defense attorney representing Carter, in an interview with GameFront. "They're so petrified by the world we live in, post-Sandy Hook, post-9-11, they don't want to be the officer who has to say that something happened on their watch. And I don't blame them, obviously they don't want to have a school shooting in their backyard. I get that. The reality is that it's okay to investigate, it's not okay to continue to prosecute and arrest when it's clear that it's sarcasm.
"He was not talking in public, he was not talking to [the woman who reported the comment]. He wasn't trying to make anyone afraid, he was intending to be sarcastic and say something distasteful and offensive. His speech is fundamentally protected by the First Amendment."
Carter mother had launched a Change.org petition to have her son released. "The authorities' over-reaction is ruining Justin's life," she wrote. "And it's setting a dangerous example trying to punish kids who often say strange things that I believe are protected under freedom of speech. The justice system's abuse of Justin is wasting time and money that could otherwise be spent to help people who honestly need it."
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