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What Happened To Justin Carter, League of Legends "Terrorist"

Justin Carter made his $500k bail thanks to anonymous donor, and now awaits trial after an unsuccessful move to quash his case.

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Those of you who remember Justin Carter, the kid who made some incredibly intense comments about shooting up a kindergarten after a bad League of Legends game, have probably heard a couple of things since his arrest in February, 2013.

Justin Carter will now face trial on a felony terrorist threat charge after his comments on Facebook were given to Austin police by a concerned Canadian.

He and his parents live in New Braunfels, TX, and Carter was transferred there after his arrest at his workplace in San Antonio; his bond was increased from $250k to half a million dollars. During his four months in Comal County Jail, Carter was sexually assaulted and beaten. 

You'll remember that a warrant was issued for the search of Carter's home--there was no further evidence of any terroristic activity; Carter didn't own any weapons, though two years prior, an ex-girlfriend at his high school had filed a temporary restraining order after he threatened to hurt himself, kill her, and shoot up their school. Carter's Facebook activity shows a long history of suicidal thoughts and dark humor.

All that aside, no other evidence convicting Carter exists. The entire case is based off of three Facebook comments. You can see in the image to the left that there isn't any context given; according to the Dallas Observer,

Flanary believes it's paramount that if someone is criminally charged on the basis of his words, a jury needs to see all the words. In this case, that includes whatever comment precipitated Carter's hyperbolic rant.

Don Flanary, Carter's attorney, has a point.

All we see here are three very damning comments, but that's all anyone sees. According to Flanary, the grand jury didn't even see the first part of Carter's first comment, where he's "f*cked up in the head, alright..."--all the prosecutor showed was the part about Carter shooting up a kindergarten. No one has been able to obtain the entire thread.

"When you're dealing with speech... it is absolutely, 100 percent important that the words that you are charging people with are actually the words that they said and not some misrepresentation. And that's what ... this prosecutor did, is misrepresent to the grand jury what he said."

During his time in jail, though he did have a court-appointed attorney, Carter was questioned by New Braunfels detectives in an attempt to get his confession. It's important to understand that as long as a person has legal representation, it's fairly shady for cops to try and interview them without that attorney present, much less aware of the questioning.

Carter's attorney at the time was unaware that he was being interviewed by detectives. Coerced by the detective's promise of release, Carter confessed to making the comments, though he did not confess any sort of intent. This confession alone doubled his bond and lead to another transfer back to Comal County Jail, where Carter was sexually assaulted.

It was after this period where Don Flanary offered his services pro bono (for free), and an anonymous donor paid Carter's $500k bond.

News of his case also went global, which drew a lot of attention to the nature of Carter's arrest; if you've ever seen the movie Minority Report, this is eerily similar. Carter was arrested not because he had actually committed a crime, but because he had (presumably) made a joke about committing a crime.

I believe that New Braunfels detectives are aware of their lack of evidence against Carter. It's notable that after Flanary offered his services and news went viral, detectives offered Carter ten years probation--that's a pretty significant reduction from the eight years in prison he was originally facing, but Flanary says he was insulted by the deal. He moved to have the case dismissed in December, but the motion was denied.

Carter faces a felony terrorist threat charge and could receive up to eight years in prison.

Originally Published Feb. 13th 2014

Former Staff Editor

whale biologist.

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Comments
  • 1
    Alex_9947 3 weeks ago
    This little story is nice and all, but you forgot to mention the AVO his OTHER ex, Irene had on him when he beat the crap out of her and broke her arm.
  • 1
    AA99 2 months ago
    It's so funny that this article CONVENIENTLY excludes the part where, right after the "beating hearts" thing, he says "lol" and "j k". THAT. IS. BULLSHIT!!! Report the accurate facts and information. What, is this kid going to jail for having a dark and dumb sense of humour? Yes it's a stupid comment, but if you look at the actual REAL conversation (not just what they show in the photo) it's pretty clear that he was kidding.
  • 1
    dont worry about it 8 months ago
    Last edited 8 months ago
  • 1
    J_9033 8 months ago
    Nothing wrong? He threatened to shoot children and eat one of their hearts. I'm sorry, but that's fucked up. Freedom of speech is one thing; spewing that kind of violence is another entirely.
  • 1
    Gene_1587 8 months ago
    People who agree w this enforcement have never had their freedom taken away. He is a kid and did nothing wrong and had no way of doing harm. The leos should have their own kids lives ruined w bogus incarcerations.
  • 56
    Rothalack 9 months ago
    Staff Editor
    I never saw those comments back when the story first came out. Those are wayyyyyy worse that what I originally thought. It would still be much nicer to see the context before and after those comments and see more info about his past... creepy actions. I think if anything, he needs to go to a mental hospital for a good bit, get his head back on straight. Maybe what he's been through thus far is enough to snap him out of it. Not much common sense is present when you say something like that.
  • 41
    Coatedpolecat 9 months ago
    Featured Correspondent
    I forgot about this guy. Maybe this will make some people think twice edited throwing out death threats.
  • 25
    Germaximus 9 months ago
    Correspondent
    Thank you for the update. I can't believe this is still going on. It's ridiculous. I'm also curious what happened with the kid in the same situation from Runescape.

    That is interesting that he had made a similar threat to do a shootout at his school years before though.
    Last edited 9 months ago
  • 31
    Game Oracle 9 months ago
    Columnist
    Nice article. I prefer in depth articles, with insightful analysis of the facts, also. Well done. This should go nicely with my full length, in depth article concerning video game violence. I am going to try to contact people for interviews. People directly involved in some of the events in the article and around the world. Fortunately, I have free phone service, around North America.