The father of a teen in Texas who was arrested over a macabre joke on Facebook told MSNBC on Thursday his son was doing surprisingly well.
Justin Carter, 19, was arrested in February and charged him with making a terroristic threat after he joked about shooting up a school on his Facebook profile. His friends and family were unable to pay his bail, which was set at $500,000. Carter remained behind bars until today, when an anonymous person bailed him out.
“He’s just really happy to be out,” his father Jack Carter said, “and be with his parents, and be able to enjoy sunshine and a nice bed.”
Carter’s attorney, Don Flanary, said that police were right to investigated the threat, but it was “atrocious” that Carter was locked in jail for six months, even though it was clear his Facebook statement was a joke.
“We need to have law enforcement that are vigilant and that look at these threats very seriously,” Flanary added. “But thinking that Justin is a terrorist or a criminal or the things he said were criminal is just plain wrong. He has a First Amendment right to express himself on the Internet. He did not threaten anyone. He made a stupid comment, and the problem is, lots of people all over this country, young and old, make stupid comments. Are we going to prosecute all of those? Are we going to investigate all of those?”
Carter has been offered a plea deal, but would still face up to eight years in prison.
Watch video, courtesy of MSNBC, below: