Texas Teen Jailed for Facebook Comment Facing Abuse Behind Bars

Terroristic threats or simply a “sarcastic comment” made in bad taste on Facebook?

19-year-old Justin Carter, who was jailed in March for “terroristic threats” on Facebook, has reportedly been facing abuse while behind bars. According to his father, Jack, he has been getting beat up with some regularity.

Jack told NPR NewsMorning Edition:

Without getting into the really nasty details, he’s had concussions, black eyes, moved four times from base for his own protection. He’s been put in solitary confinement, nude, for days on end because he’s depressed. All of this is extremely traumatic to this kid. This is a horrible experience.

Carter was arrested in March for a comment he made on a Facebook gaming page. He had just finished playing the online game League of Legends, and according to KHOU:

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.,” said [Jack] Carter … [B]ut 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 was arrested shortly after, and in April he was indicted on a charge of “making a terroristic threat” by a grand jury in Comal County, Texas. The judge set his bail at $500,000 and because of the amount Justin’s family has been unable to bond him out.

Justin’s attorney, Don Flanary said, “I have been practicing law for 10 years, I’ve represented murderers, terrorists, rapists. Anything you can think of. I have never seen a bond at $500,000.” Jack Carter added, “These people are serious. They really want my son to go away to jail for a sarcastic comment that he made.”

Unfortunately for Justin, his comments were made only two short months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. The charge he faces is a third-degree felony and carries up to a 10 year prison sentence. Lt. John Wells, of the New Braunfels Police department said:

The whole situation is kind of unfortunate. We definitely understand the situation that Mr. Carter is in, however he made the comments, and it is an offense. We have to … protect the general public and specifically, in this case, with it involving schoolchildren, we have to act. We take those very seriously.

Jack Carter however insists that his son really meant no harm, that he just “got caught up in the moment of the game and didn’t think about the implications,” and that the past 5 months of abuse do not “fit the crime.”

Justin’s attorney has managed to schedule a new hearing for July, 16, and plans to address the issue of the ongoing abuse and he will attempt to have the bail lowered so that Justin can return home while awaiting his trial.

Justin’s mother started a petition on Change.org which had over 81,000 signatures as of July, 6.

justin carterPhoto: New Braunfels Police Department/Comal County Department of Corrections

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About Kathryn DeHoyos

Kathryn DeHoyos currently resides on the outskirts of Austin, TX. She has 2 beautiful children, and is very happily un-married to her life partner DJ.

Comments

  1. I live in the town where this occurred and had two children in school that day who could possibly have been in danger . Put yourself in this position or in the place of those who have lost loved ones in a mass shooting before you say the authorities over reacted. If not for this fact I would say oh it an over reaction let the kid go home. I’m glad this was taken seriously and the young man was taken into custody. As a father of a teenager who plays online games I feel for this young man’s parents. The wheels of justice need to turn much more quickly for this young man. If there is no danger here there is the risk that this young man may become violent due to his prison stay where he may not have been before. Please teach your children or young adults not to say or do anything online they would not say or do in public or face to face. It’s not private and the consequences could follow you for the rest of your life.

    • This was an overreaction of epic proportions. IT DOES NOT MATTER IF SANDY HOOK HAPPENED, he made a joking threat. If there was any seriousness to it then the police should do their job of investigating for motives, access to weapons, hell give him psych evaluations and mental health support if needed. Get him to understand the seriousness of the joke but don’t jail him for a stupid comment.

      He could have raped someone and gotten LESS than 10 years, he typed a few words that said JOKE and implied it was just a joke.

      Do you know how many times I saw people say the twin towers falling was great, that they wanted to blow up the U.S warships n buildings because they were pissed off over the U.S interfering with stuff? They have zero intention of doing it but are just venting anger.

      Him being beaten up in prison is FAR FAR FAR FAR more likely to increase his risk of hurting someone else as sadly some abuse victims get violent, which is probably why the majority of violent prisoners committed violence.

      Yeah as a parent it would be scary, even I raised my eyebrow at it but I also remember in my depression I have a morbid sense of humor n hated the world, I have said far worse than what he joked about and I had absolutely Z E R O intentions on hurting people. It was just stupid teen angst n depression. This is similar to locking up someone for saying they’d kill you in a heated argument. If anything he needs help, not jail as jail won’t do diddly squat to help him and it will directly harm his life because he made a stupid shitty n tasteless joke.

      The very first time he was hit by another prisoner he should have been separated and given safety, and the wheels better turn damn fast because this is one of the stupidest reactions I’ve ever seen from a first-world country. Isn’t it sad how serious his baseless threat was yet hundreds, thousands of domestic violence victims whom get stalked have trouble getting their abuser locked up? In the time he is in prison there will probably be 10 children killed in DV situations. That is part of the stupidity of all of this, he was locked away for writing a joking comment in a heated argument, and faces charges that are longer than rapists get (from what I can see rape is 4-7 years).

      He’s basically in prison for thought-crime…Are we going to go find every “kill the raghead/whatever person” commenter on youtube n lock them up? Lockup every kid that says I’ll kill you in a game (personally I’ve had this said to me many times), every single person that says “I will kill you” or “I’ll beat you up”, threatens violence, etc? This is an absolutely extreme action taken against him and quite frankly it’s bloody sick how it’s being handled. Help and education is needed, not being put into an environment where he’s already faced violence and his risk of rape is high.

  2. Welcome to the age of thought police! A warning or a phone call would have sufficed, but no, our ridiculous Nazi-powers government loves to violate our rights and uses every excuse to eliminate them. There is no Constitutional protection any more.

  3. By ANY interpretation, this is beyond an overreaction by the “state.” This is one of millions of messages sent to us by our lunatic totalitarian government. The message: “we can go absolutely nuts on your life, your body, your mind and your family.”

    Welcome to the new normal — manufactured by the looney-left who can’t even realize a 5-yo’s finger is not a gun.

  4. What people often fail to understand about the government is how dangerous it is. This could have happened to ANYBODY. As we look at the world, we need to look at ourselves, and realize that politics are NOT linear, but CIRCULAR, meaning that the further you go toward the left OR toward the right, the closer you get to a third world political structure or RED CHINA-style government and the further you get from what this country was built upon….freedom. We have suffered a 16 year, fatal political blow. Starting with George Bush and Dick Cheney and currently with Obama, we have lost almost ALL of our legal protections and rights to freedom expression, right to a speedy trial, right to face our accusers, and rights to privacy. Bush was an incompetent constitutional criminal and a fool. Obama is the worst president we have ever had and does not know what he is doing. We are lost. This is the “twilight’s last gleaming”. We are in the final summer that will be swallowed up by a winter that will last a thousand years.

Speak Your Mind

*