Eight years for Facebook threat? Teen awaits court in jail

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by Shelton Green / KVUE.com

KMOV.com

Posted on July 3, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 3 at 1:30 PM

NEW BRAUNFELS – An Austin man wants to warn other parents and teenagers that statements made on social media websites can land them in jail. 

Justin Carter was 18 back in February when an online video game "League of Legends" took an ugly turn on Facebook. 

Jack Carter says his son Justin and a friend got into an argument with someone on Facebook about the game and the teenager wrote a comment he now regrets. 

“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," Carter said. 

“LOL” stands for “laughing out loud," and “jk” means “just kidding," but police didn’t think it was funny. Neither did a woman from Canada who saw the posting. 

Justin’s dad says the woman did a Google search and found his son’s old address was near an elementary school and she called police. 

Justin Carter was arrested the next month and has been jailed since March 27. He’s charged with making a terroristic threat and is facing eight years in prison, according to his dad. 

“These people are serious. They really want my son to go away to jail for a sarcastic comment that he made," Carter said. 

Unfortunately for Justin his comments came only two months after dozens of youngsters were killed in a massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut back in December of 2012. 

“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,” Jack Carter said. 

Friends and family have started an online petition they’re hoping will garnish more attention for Justin’s plight. You can find it by clicking here.

“If I can just help one person to understand that social media is not a playground, that when you go out there into social media, when you use Facebook, when you use Twitter, when you go out there and make comments on news articles, and the things you are saying can and will be used against you," added Jack Carter.

Justin remains in Comal County Jail with a $500,000 bond pending a July 16 court date.

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