(AP/San Antonio Express-News) A Texas 19-year-old has spent months behind bars after posting a Facebook message about shooting kindergartners he claims was a joke, the San Antonio Express-News reports.
Justin R. Carter says he was trying to be "witty and sarcastic" when he posted the comment on a Facebook thread Feb. 13. March 20, investigators filed a criminal complaint. Carter, who was arrested Feb. 14, is charged with making a terroristic threat and has spent months in a New Braunfels, Texas jail on a $500,000 bond.
The family can't afford to pay the bail, according to a change.org petition asking for his release. The petition in Carter's support has garnered more than 66,000 signatures.
He was reportedly indicted in April by a Comal County grand jury on the third-degree felony.
The indictment cites the alleged threat by Carter "to shoot up a kindergarten, watch the blood rain down and eat the beating heart out of one of them," according to the report.
"What I said was terrible, mean and downright stupid," Carter reportedly wrote in a jailhouse letter to a judge. "The misunderstanding was that I wasn't trying to scare anyone, I was trying to be witty and sarcastic. I failed and I was arrested."
New Braunfels Police Lt. John Wells told the San Antonio Express-News the threat was taken seriously after the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut.
A July 16 court date has been set in the case.