NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – A New Braunfels teen charged for making a terroristic threat against kindergarteners is attracting national attention.
According to a criminal complaint filed by the New Braunfels Police Department, Justin Carter, 19, made the following comment on Facebook in February:
"I think I'ma SHOOT UP A KINDERGARTEN"
"AND WATCH THE BLOOD OF THE INNOCENT RAIN DOWN"
"AND EAT THE BEATING HEART OF ONE OF THEM"
Jack Carter, Justin Carter's father, said his son's comment was not intended to be taken seriously, but that when a woman saw it, she reported it to police, leading to his arrest.
"That's when we knew these people were serious," said Carter. "And they wanted him to go to prison for his sarcastic, flippant remark."
Carter said it's been extremely difficult for the entire family ever since his son was arrested and charged for making terroristic threats.
"It's been a nightmare for us," said Carter, "and a nightmare for him."
Justin Carter was initially arrested in Austin, but after investigators found that the comment was made from his home in New Braunfels, the case was turned over to the New Braunfels Police Department.
"Anytime we hear any kind of threats against a small child or if someone makes those comments against a school, it becomes priority No. 1for us," said New Braunfels police Lt. John Wells. "We take it very seriously."
Justin Carter's lawyer, Donald Flanary III, said his client's comments have been taken out of context and his $500,000 bond is way too high.
"I have murder clients that their bonds are barely $100,000 and they are charged for killing people," said Flanary. "He's charged with making a threat and the threat was a joke."
In the meantime, Justin Carter's mother, Jennifer Carter, has started an online petition on Change.org. It's titled, "Release Justin Carter and Change the Investigative Criteria for Terroristic Threat Laws" and has already received more than 35,000 digital signatures.
Justin Carter has been at the Comal County Jail since March and will remain there under that $500,000 bond until his next court date, which is set for July 16. That's when Flanary is hoping he can convince the judge to reduce his bond.