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Texas Teen Jailed For Sarcastic Facebook Comment

NPR icon by Elise Hu
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A Texas teen faces up to eight years in jail after making a comment on Facebook about shooting up "a school full of kids." Deputies in Comal County, Texas, charged then-18-year-old Justin Carter with making "terroristic threats" — a 3rd degree felony — in March. According to the Comal County Jail, he's been behind bars since March 27, unable to make his $500,000 bail. Austin-based KVUE-TV reports:

"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.," said Carter."

A Canadian woman saw the posting, and according to the teen's father, the woman called police.

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

Supporters of Justin Carter, who is now 19, started a Change.org petition for his release that now has 30,000 signatures. A call to the Comal County District Attorney hasn't been returned, but Carter's father tells NPR that a San Antonio attorney is interested in taking the case pro bono. Justin Carter has so far been represented by a court-appointed attorney.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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