Parents Of Jailed League Of Legends Player: 'It Was A Joke'

Today, the parents of Justin Carter, the 19-year-old League of Legends player facing eight years in prison for threatening Facebook comments he made, took to television today to plead for their son’s innocence. “He’s very depressed, he’s very scared... and he’s very concerned he’s not going to get out. He’s pretty much lost all hope,” said a visibly shaken Jack Carter, father of Justin, during a CNN interview this morning.

The Texas teen, who has been jailed for five months, is currently on suicide watch in solitary confinement according to his mother. "It's very hard, to hear your child... hopeless," said Justin's mother.

“At first I was completely shocked. I thought it was a joke. I couldn’t believe the person who called me, I told them they had to be kidding" Jack Carter said, recalling the news of his son's arrest. "When I realised he wasn’t, I literally broke down crying, walked off the job I was on and I had to have a friend pick me up downtown because I couldn’t drive.”

Justin's father went on to fully acknowledge the gravity of Justin's comments, but made a plea for common sense.

“He’s a good kid. He didn’t mean it. It was a joke, and he would never hurt anybody.”

The parents have secured a law firm to take on the case pro bono.


Comments

    For some context (I didn't watch the video) the comment on facebook was:

    "I'm f---ed in the head alright, I think I'ma (sic) shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of the innocent rain down and eat their still-beating hearts,"

    Funny joke.

    Last edited 03/07/13 3:41 pm

      Instead of picking out one comment, now read the whole conversation. By picking out one single moment, anything can be made to look like anything.

      Edit:
      ---------------
      Earlier this year, Carter and a friend got into an Facebook argument with someone regarding "League of Legends," an online video game with notoriously die-hard fans. Justin's father, Jack, explained to ABC local affiliate KVUE that at the end of the conversation "[s]omeone had said something to the effect of 'Oh you're insane, you're crazy, you're messed up in the head,’ to which [Justin] 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 [all sic]."

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/27/teenager-justin-carter-facebook-comment-jail_n_3512025.html

      Isn't it amazing how the CONTEXT CHANGES when information is added? Information that is crucial? Information that gives what the real meaning behind the comment was?
      ----------------

      Last edited 03/07/13 3:40 pm

        To be honest, I just googled his name and pulled the first couple of results heraldsun, adelaidenow etc. they didn't have the 'lol, jk' lines or any other important context.

        No need to jump on me, it's not like I said I was going to murder your family! lol jk

        Last edited 03/07/13 3:47 pm

          Indeed, sensationalist newspapers won't include further details like that, they'll just have what they can to push numbers off the racks now print copies are dying and electronic sites are taking their places. When you look into it though, hes just a moron who made a moronic joke and is becoming the brunt of the US's anger over school shootings. They need to control it somehow, they need to control where the violence comes from and they need to vent their grief but they're doing it entirely the wrong way.

          Who gives a shit what the comment said. Like his dad said, there is definitely a need to investigate these kinds of comments, but there is ZERO justification to throw him in jail. It is complete overkill, and if he does go free, they will sue the absolute crap out of the government. Good luck to them, I feel for the kid, I really do. Kids make these kinds of comments every single day, the kind of bullying that goes on in America is absurd. There are way worse things going on than this that they should be jailing people for. How about actively bullying someone to the point of death.

            This reminds me of the disproportionate punishment of Aaron Swartz, who (although facing much more time in jail than this guy) hung himself. I'm worried for this guy. He said something stupid but it sounds like an average joe, a gamer, a young guy from a clearly very loving family, who unfortunately made a really senseless and inappropriate comment. I honestly don't think he deserves to go to jail for being naive. I sure as hell hope he doesn't commit suicide over it too.

            I have to agree context is everything and it should have been clear and simple to anyone capable of reading that this was not a serious threat.

            Its gone well beyond "following every threat" and seems more like persecution. News outlets and the like have been more than happy to facilitate this whole thing so the misinformed public is whipped into a frenzy calling for his head its disgraceful.

            Now while we don't know everything assuming it really is people just throwing this kid under the bus I hope he gets out and sues the shit out of any and everyone involved and wins big. I don't think many people are even capable of understanding how negatively this can effect someone, the very fact he is now on suicide watch hopefully gives some people an inkling.

            Last edited 03/07/13 4:25 pm

            Definitely over kill, but suing the Govt. won't do a thing it's the local Police Dept that will need to be sued, there is a difference.

      So you think he deserves to be thrown in jail for 8 years for that do you?

      Do you have children of your own?

        I'd throw him in the lock up for a while to let him realise that smack talk like that has very very real repercussions these days. Lol and JK does not automatically get you off the hook after you make comments like that.

        Imagine someone like Anders Brevik making a comment like this kid, and then just adding the lol and jk. It doesn't change anything, the authorities are fully justified in holding him and investigating, but the threat of jail? I don't know, it's his bad luck to be making a stupid joke at the wrong time. His dad would obviously say anything to cover for him, but the kid not knowing about Sandy Hook when making the joke? I'd say the odds are slim to none.

        No, I don't (to both questions). I also don't think it's a very funny joke.

        Feel free to infer anything and everything beyond the scope of my comment.

        Last edited 03/07/13 4:49 pm

    Where on earth has common sense gone in this case? Why has it gone this far? Sure he said something stupid but this is just... this is a gross violation of his human rights surely. Something stupid was said but nothing has been taken in context. How on earth when considered in context is this a 'terroristic threat'?

    "Kids say dumb things" is the best possible thing said in this segment and noone but the parents and even the reporter here seems to be taking this into account. Sure the kid should've been maybe arrested and scared, but locked up? F*** no. This should never have gotten this far. Never. This a gross miscarriage of justice.

      I completely agree. This is just a crazy application of the law. It also sets really bad precedents where you have to watch everything you say in fear that it will be interpreted in some way that will lead to jail time.

      Exactly. This is such a huge error in the justice system. There are people out there who bully kids to the point of killing themselves every single day, and they NEVER get into trouble. But this kid makings one comment, and is thrown in jail without any kind of REAL investigation.

      I am worried for the kid that the judge will want to make an example out of him and throw him in jail for years.

      It's the same as when somebody makes some stupid comment about bombs/terrorism etc in the line at the airport. They don't even care if it's a joke, they just jump on the person regardless.

      The authorities are covering their arses just on the off chance that further on down the track this guy DID to something crazy (and let's face it, that's not unheard of in America). They're worried that somebody will come back to that conversation and say "why didn't anybody do something about him then?!" They'd rather lock somebody up for stupid reasons than take the remote risk of having fingers pointing at them later on for not doing anything now.

        While I understand there's a need to be cautious, even fifteen minutes of research and interrogating the kid would turn up clear evidence as to what this was about. Hell, keep the kid in the lockup for one single night, fine, to teach him a lesson, I'm *all* for that. Don't make stupid comments like that on facebook, you won't find me objecting to that at all. However, arresting and detaining a kid with a criminal sentence over something like that? No, there's no justification. There's obviously not much investigation going on here if they cannot see, but we can with ten minutes worth of googling that:

        a.) He was playing a game and chatting
        b.) He was being sarcastic
        c.) The context wasn't there to be savage in real life

        So again, while I understand real life horrors have happened, their intentions are noble, they are grossly misguided.

        "The path to hell is paved with good intentions" the old saying goes, and so far, they're one step from Hades.

          I don't think their intentions are noble. They know damn well that he's not a serious danger to anybody. They're just covering their arses at the expense of somebody else's life.

            Intentions being noble is just a general term, meaning in theory they're trying to protect people, in reality they're overreative spastic hypermonkeys.

              "Overreacting spastic hypermonkeys" is now my new favourite combination of words, replacing the previously unassailable "today, sir, your bacon is free".

      Agreed. In my opinion, at worst it should've only gone as far as his house and background being investigated - which from everything I've read, the police did, found no weapons, no history of violence or any notes/plans of intent but decided to charge him anyway...wtf?

      I find it morally repugnant that someone actually disagreed with this, while I understand that everyone has their opinions, the fact you're saying 'Its ok to lock this kid up over this' speaks volumes about the person who did. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    This case is ridiculous. Sure he made a stupid comment (more than likely as a silly joke) given the recent issues the US has had with shootings. But 8 years for that? There's people that get off with a slap on the wrist for committing much more heinous acts of criminality.

      And then there's the Tsarnaev's, who were known to the authorities and were tracked by them at one point. Put yourself in the shoes of the Sheriff or DA, you don't know what this kid is truly capable of, because you've read about all those kids who were "just a regular kid" that went on to commit mass murder. The lack of any evidence currently does not mean a lack of intent, and on that alone the authorities are perhaps exercising too much caution and throwing everything and the kitchen sink at him.

      On the flipside, if you were the parent of a child who was attending school near this kid, would YOU be sanguine about your child being in the vicinity of this person? Knowing full well that America has more guns than some warzones, and that any nut job can get one, would you sleep well at night if you knew a person who made such comments was living mere minutes away from where your child goes to school?

      I'd be cautious about throwing all my support behind the kid, he made some very specific threats. And while others are calling for understanding simply because he couched it as a joke, I'd call for understanding with regards to where the authorities are coming from here. To them, he made some very serious threats, lives near a place where he can carry out that threat, and would possibly have the means to do so.

      Again, while it's unfortunate all around that it has come to this, while everyone seems to look at it from the point of view of this one gamer, I'd ask you all to consider how the parents of the children that attend that school may feel. Because if I had a kid attending that school, I wouldn't feel all too bad to hear of a long jail sentence.

    I'm a fan of dark comedy, and in many cases I've watched comedians say similar things (while obviously being satirical or sarcastic).
    I don't know where or how the line manages to be drawn between that and something like this.

      Fuck me, Anthony Jeselnik better watch out...

      You ever see his stuff? Check it out on Youtube, he's said FAR WORSE in all his acts.

        Indeed, he's one of the ones I was thinking of. New episodes starting next week!

    https://www.change.org/petitions/release-my-son-justin-carter-in-jail-for-a-facebook-comment

    Meh. There has to be things here we don't know. Surely he would get bail, not have to sit in jail for 5 months waiting for a trial. If the situation is as they say it is, he won't get any jailtime at all. I'm tipping there is previous violence or something involved.

    F*ck gun control, they've got the real solution to school shootings right there!

    Another win for justice.

      The kind of sarcasm they seem incapable of understanding.

      Only in America could Poe's Law be the fucking rule.

    I feel for his family. That would really be a terrible position to be in, to watch your child have to go through that.

    Another perspective: if I get drunk and cause some property damage or (on the extreme) start a drunk fight, how much time in jail will I get? Compared to a flippant and stupid comment on FB?

    Good lord this is dumb. There needs to be limits set on rulings like this. This stupid kid's comments warrant community service and maybe some mandatory classes/psychiatric help, not eight pointless years in jail.
    America has enough people in jail already, now they're putting people in jail for years at a time for talking shit?
    If they think the kid is messed up enough to go through with even a tenth of the crap he's been spouting, he needs help because as yet he hasn't actually done anything to anyone. Eight years in jail isn't going to magically turn him into a stable individual and it's not going to teach him any lesson he wouldn't have learned after a month in there.

    "lol, jk" or not I think it is proper to put the kid under observation for such offensive comments. Imagine victims of gun violence seeing this.
    But yea I have to say 8 years jail time is definitely overkill.

    Freedom of speech? Fuck that constitutional right, gun control? That's against the constitution you communist.

    Let's not forget the student experimenting with chemicals for a science fair project who got accussed of terrorism for creating chemical weapons. (Best write-up here: http://www.rockpapercynic.com/index.php?date=2013-05-02)

    Or the primary school kid who got held in lockup for breaking the train station's 'no food or drink on platform' policy by sneaking a french fry from the bag of maccas she was taking home.

    Jackie-Chan.jpg

    When I was a kid, the neighbourhood kids all went out to play in the giant drainage ditch that had been excavated behind a new property development, made entirely out of clay (to the adults' disgust and kids' delight), allowing us to fashion fortresses and bmx bike stunt ramps out of discarded building materials, and beat each other with lengths of rebar while pretending to be ninja turtles. These puritanical pansies of today would probably have a fucking heart attack if they saw that, and the cops and news cameras would be everywhere.

    Last edited 03/07/13 5:12 pm

    Why hasn't he been bailed? Obviously the prosecutor thinks he has a case otherwise he'd be out. It's facing 8 years if a) he's convicted and b) given max sentence.

      Probably because they set the bail at half a million dollars.

    He shouldn't be allowed to just say whatever the hell he wants without consequences either. NONE of us should. We should be allowed to say what we want and *face the consequences.*

    Are the consequences too much here? That's not our call. But I think he definitely should have been jailed. You may agree or disagree with me. That doesn't mean either of us are correct, or wrong. But not for his sense of humour - for the fact that he is obviously sociopathic. How is killing kids funny, ever? But then we would need to lock up all the sociopaths. And who would run for government then?

    But considering the rate at which terrorist crap and violent crimes happen in America, you would think they'd be a little more understanding about stuff like this. What if he wasn't joking? Writing lol jk at the end of stuff doesn't magically mean that nobody has ever killed a bunch of kids, or that people should be allowed to talk about killing kids. What is this kid, like 7 or some shit? I don't know about you, but I think that if this guy is 19, then he needs to be looked at for mental disabilities - THAT'S

    Seriously - if you think joking about things like Infanticide is okay (let alone 'funny'), you're a sociopath. LITERALLY. Look it up. And the word 'desensitised' while you're at it.

    This 'pansified' world is ten times better than the cave-man style morality (Thog Smash So Thog Must Be Right) that came before it.

    Yes - these guys over-reacted. I can't see anyone denying that. But look at the last few years America has had! And this kid lived there, and surely knew what he was doing. I have no sympathy for him *at all* (OH WOW THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT LIKE STICKING PEOPLE IN JAIL WHO COULD HAVE FORESEEN THIS) - but plenty for his parents.

    What annoys me the most is that the judge(s) and officer(s) involved are untouched.

    Since it seems like these people are just pushing those boundaries the law in their country/state has set. I understand the law is conditional and in this case, is it really fair to push out a 500K bail, put the kid behind bars for 3 months or so...

    God, end of all of this, I just hope this teenager comes out and has some positive perspective and doesn't go kill himself afterwards.

    His not a criminal here, just another victim and they should have just sent him to counselling as the most severe measure, not slap a potential prison term.

    No offense to Americans at all, but your government is way too gun ho and by the book. Intelligent discretion is vital to all law enforcement.

    oh well shit happens... at least he'll have eight years to plan it all out really well now.

    OH FFS ! To those people who are saying he 'deserved' it or 'we ALL need to watch what we say' ... if you read the whole context of the comments it's CLEARLY said in sarcasm / as an ironic comment - an intelligent reader shouldn't even NEED the 'lol jk' which were further included in his original exchange to underscore the point.

    Stuff like this always makes me so ANGRY ... it implies we all DO indeed to watch what we say, but ONLY because we live in a world populated predominatly by f*cking morons WHO DON'T UNDERSTAND SARCASM !!!

    Gaaaaaaaah ! Poke out my f*ckin eyes and call me Mr.Hunstman (for those playing at home who don't understand sarcasm - no, I don't want my eyes poked out, and a Huntsman is an arachnid of the Sparassidae (formerly Heteropodidae) family graced with a particularly bountiful set of eyes ... eight of them to be exact) ...

    Last edited 04/07/13 12:39 pm

    The real problem here is that while it is obvious to most of us that he is being sarcastic, sarcasm over the internet is hard mkay...

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