Trial for League of Legends Player Justin Carter Scheduled for June

League of Legends player Justin Carter is scheduled to go to trial in June for the charge of issuing a “terroristic threat” on Facebook.

Carter, 19, of New Braunfels, Texas, was an aspiring professional gamer and was arrested in February 2013 for allegedly threatening to “shoot up a kindergarten” on Facebook. According to Carter’s attorney, Donald Flanary, the remark was a “sarcastic and satirical” response to someone else in the Facebook thread reportedly calling Carter “effing crazy.” A Canadian woman took a screen capture of the conversation and sent it to a crime tip service in that country, which later led to police in Texas arresting Carter, who previously had lived relatively close to an elementary school. Carter was 18 at the time he allegedly made the threat. Read GameFront’s rundown of the entire case here.

A jury trial for Carter will take place on June 23, according to Comal County, Texas, court schedule documents.

According to a February report from the Austin Chronicle, Flanary has been continuing to work on writ of habeas corpus motions related to Carter’s arrest and his internment at the Comal County jail. It appears those motions have been denied, however, based on the creation of a trial date. The report also states that Carter rejected plea deals that would have resulted in sentences of 10 and eight years in prison.

Carter made bail on July 11, 2013, after an anonymous benefactor paid his $500,000 bond, an amount Flanary at the time told GameFront is excessive.

“The normal bail for someone facing murder charges, facing life in prison, it’s generally $100,000,” Flanary said. “This is a third degree felony… Most of the time those bonds are around $10,000.” Carter faces a possible prison term of two to 10 years if convicted, and fines of up to $100,000.

At the time, Carter had been in jail for almost four months, where he reportedly had been beaten by other prisoners and allegedly left in solitary confinement.

GameFront has reached out to Carter’s attorneys and to the Comal County District Attorney, and will update this story as more details become available.


Phil Hornshaw is senior editor at Game Front. Read more of his work here, and follow him and Game Front on Twitter: @philhornshaw and @gamefrontcom.

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25 Comments on Trial for League of Legends Player Justin Carter Scheduled for June

pooleboy87

On March 28, 2014 at 11:06 pm

It’s sorta shocking how little press/attention a case with this much importance and potential to set precedence is getting.

Really hope my home state and adopted city do the right thing here, but it’s seriously worrying that it even got this far based entirely on what we know now.

Aedelric

On March 29, 2014 at 12:34 am

Hope he enjoys jail, he deserves it.

nicky

On March 29, 2014 at 3:33 am

It’s amazing that it’s even gone to trial. What he did was beyond stupid and he should be punished in some way, but it’s clear he’s been completely scapegoated with the bail set and it’s also clear that he’s just a moron rather than an actual psychopath or a danger to society. This is a complete waste of time and money, and it’s turned a into a genuine victim of a legal miscarriage. Complete disaster all round, and if he goes to jail it’ll just mean we waste even MORE time and money on what will quite likely be a successful appeal and compensation claim.

Ainu

On March 29, 2014 at 4:02 am

I don’t see how he deserves any sort of punishment? It’s not like he made this “threat” directly to anyone in particular, and anyone with half a brain can see it’s a humorous remark. Whether or not you find it in good taste is another matter, but are we really going to start punishing people for that? I’ve said things significantly worse than that as banter with my friends. The only thing you could accuse him of is the stupidity of doing the same on a public forum.

Jay

On March 29, 2014 at 4:12 am

ainu – The minimum he should be done for is wasting police time. After all, if he’d never made these dumbass comments he’d never have directed police resources towards himself and wouldn’t have had a long, drawn-out, expensive trial built against him. I think his comments went beyond being a joke, but they weren’t a legitimate threat and nor is he. He’s just a . Amazingly though as nicky said he’s ended up being victimized and it has nothing to do with him being sympathetic and everything to do with the frankly offensively excessive bail that had to be posted to get him out of jail. Half a million dollars for some misjudged, adolescent crap on a forum is a joke and he will almost certainly walk free on this detail alone.

Ainu

On March 29, 2014 at 4:16 am

I would say that’s the maximum he should be done for, not the minimum.

bb

On March 29, 2014 at 5:33 am

ya’ all m**her f**kers want to mess with me and put me in jail for posting this on line- go for it // ready// and to that canadian housewife that called this kid in- come over and we talk a bit (she is as yet completely anonymous! / / p.s. YOUR child is THE bully and needs to spend some time in an adult prison – encouraging hateful behaviour and posting nasty comments directly and soley to PROVOKE someone (esp. on facebook) and specifically telling them ‘things’ – MAKES YOU JUST AS CULPABLE // we need to check you out

Guffrey

On March 29, 2014 at 5:45 am

bb, your comment only stands to vindicate the movement to condemn and imprison Carter and others like him. And I don’t support it at all, I think this has been completely overplayed and many otherwise sound-minded commenters on here have come across as foam-mouthed witch-hunters over what some stupid little punk wrote on some blog. But it’s hard not to sympathise with their view when comments which support Carter end up being just as threatening and violent in tone as his were. We shouldn’t be looking to justify what he did, just to examine whether or not the persecution and possible punishment fits the crime. The answer is clearly no, it’s not proportionate. But that doesn’t make what he did right, and nor does it make your comment sane. It also damages the culture of videogaming as a whole, and it’s already in a bad place with the mainstream as Carter’s treatment clearly indicates. Let’s not give them any further ammunition, please.

Bob

On March 29, 2014 at 7:43 am

and this is an example of why America is a terrible country every one is a terrorist in some way

thedog

On March 29, 2014 at 8:56 am

What’s kind of sad and funny at the same time is Carter was and idiot and a jerk for what he wrote, and the ONLY reason he’s sorry is because he ended up behind bars. Not because it was wrong. Now the people who defend him write the same kind of stupid stuff online, to prove how innocent he is.
Wow, gotta love that kind of logic. Sad thing is, they are just proving not that he’s innocent, but that they are the same kind of jerk he is. Now this isn’t everyone, but it is an alarmingly high amount of them.
How far we have fallen.
Even the other inmate don’ like him. There are some crimes that even other criminals can’t stand, like crimes against children.

Tom

On March 29, 2014 at 11:52 am

@thedog: There’s only one supportive comment on here that fits your description and that’s bb’s. All the others make it pretty obvious that they don’t like the kid but that he doesn’t deserve what’s happened to him. It’s pretty difficult to argue against this given his bail was set five times higher than someone on a homicide charge. Just because someone’s an doesn’t mean the legal system can get away with anything. That’s why rules are in place to begin with. It’s like people who don’t like other people using drugs, ok fine but don’t try to tell me someone with a joint should go to federal prison when celebrities have killed and harmed people and got away with it. The consequences Carter has faced do not match up with his actions.

The only line of thinking that could really justify it is if it was being done as a deterrent against others doing the same thing, but I think we all know it’s not going to work. It’ll more than likely just cast the net wider and make it easier to excuse excessive law enforcement in the future on the pretext that they say they suspected something more sinister. People like Carter will still be dumbasses just as the death penalty will never act as a suitable deterrent against murder. All they had to do was set a bail that was in proportion to his actions and there’d be no complaints, instead they panicked and shat the bed because they wanted to look like they were acting with foresight in the face of increased risks of terrorism and shooting sprees.

Carter’s an idiot but nobody’s above the law and thus nobody should be below the law either. He has rights that were breached or stretched beyond credulity, and that effects everybody, not just this face.

Anonymous

On March 29, 2014 at 4:47 pm

pooleboy87, they don’t want this to get a lot of attention. Do you have any idea how much legislation gets passed quietly after a holiday or new years or something where the government expects people to be too drunk or otherwise out of it to care? That’s how they’ve been making all of their power grabs lately.

If he is found guilty for this, it’ll be just that much easier to find a reason to lock someone up deemed “undesirable” by the government.

thedog

On March 29, 2014 at 7:56 pm

@Bob. I was also going back to the other articles that were written. It really got ugly at times. Give this one time. It will get worse.
I don’t think he should get nailed to the wall, but it needs to be shown that, as you said yourself, nobody is above the law. He broke it and needs to pay for it. He won’t pay what they’re charging, the charge I think is more for show, but he will pay something.

Tierd

On March 29, 2014 at 11:42 pm

The joke was in poor taste but you shouldn’t punish someone for it. He said eat their beating hearth out that not a death treat. What about stand up comedy acts? If its in bad taste you will get punished? This is insane, I don’t like what Carter wrote either but that beside the point. If you say something you regret in bad taste or tell a horrible joke you shouldn’t be punished for it. People can rebutle it easy by calling out how insensitive and stupid it was of him.

Aedelric

On March 30, 2014 at 1:22 am

My wife works in a kindergarten and my child goes to one. I can not excuse or forgive what he said because his comments are threats directed towards the ones I love. How forgiving would any of you be if it was someone you loved he threatened?

Hate speech is not protected and even if it was a `joke´ it crosses the line. He deserves a valuable life lesson and jail time is the best way.

I have no sympathy for him or his situation.

Jay

On March 30, 2014 at 3:47 am

Sorry Aedrelic, but nobody’s asking you to excuse or forgive him. All we are asking is that the law is applied appropriately. Appealing to emotion like that doesn’t help in the slightest, it only validates his defence. The “think of the children” mindset should not be any more relevant to the discussion of legal proceedings than bb’s “durpy durp he dun free speach n dah other guy’s dumb buhhh” rubbish. Both are myopic in nature and need to be discarded, because they are not based on facts. As I said earlier, this is turning otherwise reasonable people like yourself into frothing mob-rules pitchfork-wielders who can’t separate their emotions about the tone and subject matter of what he said from the actual legal principles that need to be applied.

Ainu

On March 30, 2014 at 3:55 am

Christ on a bike Aedelric, he wasn’t threatening anyone, let alone your loved ones. And jail time is the best way to show a valuable life lesson? The fact there are people who actually think like that makes me lose my last drop of faith in humanity. What a depressing state of affairs. Putting an 18 yo in jail over a bad joke on the internet. That idea only gets worse everytime I think of it.

thedog

On March 30, 2014 at 8:04 am

I don’t think he deserves the time that he could get, nor do I think he will get that. That being said he broke the law. Did he threaten someone? Yes. Not one person in specific, but a group. Same as some saying they are going to blow up a train station or similar. Will they go to jail. Yep. Or how about someone who walks into a bank with a realist toy gun, and waves it around. He never actually threatened anyone either, but again, will he go to jail? Most definitely.
People… he committed a crime. Do I think he was serious? No not really but does that change the fact that he could have been dead serious, or that he still broke the law? (and don’t try and say he didn’t. My brother is a lawyer and he says yes he did).
No, he’ll pay. He will get a greatly reduced sentence and the public will hear about it as he is to be made an example of. Price of being stupid.

Aedelric

On March 30, 2014 at 9:16 am

Are you trying to change my opinion Jay/Ainu? That is not going to happen and may be a complete waste of your time, especially with such poorly conceived arguments/excuses in his defense.

How many people have actually gone and killed children in kindergartens and schools? Far too many. We have no reason to dismiss his threat or excuse it, adding J/K after saying something evil does not make what you said any better. I am not saying life in prison, but he deserves jail time as he requires a life lesson and people like him need to know that is what can happen to you if you are so exceptionally stupid.

The reason it has gotten this far is not due to lack of coverage but due to the fact that the -majority- of people think he deserves it.

Jay

On March 30, 2014 at 9:36 am

Explain which so-called ‘excuses’ are poorly conceived, Aedrelic. Actually don’t bother, because it’s obvious from your comments so far that you’re speaking from blind instinct rather than any objective place. I’m not making excuses or defending him, I’m simply stating the facts of the case. Your opinion isn’t relevant and neither is what the majority of the country thinks of what he did. What matters is how it holds to the law. I frankly don’t care whether I change your opinion or not, because thankfully your emotional, biased opinions are not present in the presiding over the case. And, as I have already made perfectly clear, I do not think Carter is some sort of innocent. He’s a douchebag. But that isn’t reason enough for justifying or turning a blind eye to demagoguery.

Be careful what you wish for on this, because the ramifications go far beyond some asshat on League of Legends.

BigtheGangsterCat

On March 30, 2014 at 11:36 am

This is why I left facebook so this won’t happen to me.

Red Menace

On March 30, 2014 at 12:48 pm

I’m not overly sympathetic. I think the charges are probably excessive, but I don’t understand the disconnect with people who think they can whatever they want because it’s the internet. He “may or may not have known” these people. It is really no different than going out and saying these things to people in the street. See how long before a patrol call rolls up to haul you off.

I hope he gets a lesser sentence. But, if anything, it should serve as a lesson to people who think the internet offers them limitless speech. The only thing that protects an individual’s freedom of speech is the Constitution, and the court has ruled time and time again that advocating violence is not protected, however “sarcastic and satirical.”

John

On March 31, 2014 at 12:31 pm

@Anonymous March 29, 2014 at 4:47 pm, the Texas state legislature meets once every two years. The next session is not until late winter through spring of 2015.

russell shipp

On April 2, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Jenifer tharp Comal County DA is a monster. A DAnger to the community for attempting to prosacute this young man over stupid BS. I have seen the whole thing and the slant and bias is clear! THe Sarcasam was see through… RUde but so freaking what, NOT ILLEGAL WHEN NO SPESIFICS were threatened…. Tharp Is a monster. Please write to the comal county DA and ask were to drop this case already!

Wanamaker

On May 24, 2014 at 9:25 am

@Aedelric are you gonna pass judgement on every single teenager? Jokes like this happen every day, and I don’t care if you got butt hurt, he doesn’t deserve the treatment he is getting, punishment? sure. fine, but to be labeled a felon for the rest of your life? millions of people have said worse jokes them him and no one batted an eye. I don’t know if this kid is a jerk like most of you a claiming, I’ve only seen what the media says. I only wish some people would grow a damn brain and think about what it feels like to be in his situation, everyone who read this story knows the kid was just being a . But you want him to suffer for 8-10 years for it. You people are truly evil for believing that’s justice.