TODAY

TODAY   |  July 04, 2013

Texas teen arrested for Facebook ‘terroristic threat’

Justin Carter, 19, has spent nearly five months in jail held on $500,000 bond for posting on Facebook, two months after the Sandy Hook massacre, that he was thinking he would “shoot up a kindergarten,” which his attorney says was “clearly sarcasm.” NBC’s Mark Potter reports.

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>>> now to a case in texas that's getting national attention. a teenager who has now spent months behind bars for a comment he posted on facebook. here's nbc's mark potter .

>> reporter: 19-year-old justin carter has spent nearly five months in the comal county jail in new braunfels, texas, near san antonio . he's being held on $500,000 bond. his father, jack carter , says he worries about his son's safety behind bars .

>> he's scared for his life, and i'm scared for his life, and every minute he's in there is just another moment of torture for me and for him.

>> reporter: police say during a facebook conversation last february, two months after the sandy hook elementary school shootings, carter wrote, "i think i'm a shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of the innocent rain down and eat the beating heart of one of them." authorities charged carter with making a terroristic threat , a third degree felony that could lead to a two to ten-year prison term if he's convicted.

>> unfortunately, any time we have one of those comments made about a school system , the history of school violence has shown we have to take those very seriously.

>> reporter: attorney don flaner ti, who represents carter, seen her years ago, said the teen only wrote those in response to an insult and was only kidding.

>> he never thought anyone would take that to mean he's serious. it's clearly sarcasm.

>> reporter: both carter's father and the attorneys say they clearly understand why authorities became concerned but argue there's no evidence carter ever intended or had the means to carry out a threat.

>> he's a good kid, and he never did anything, and there was not any weapons. i think it's very obvious.

>> reporter: in a written statement, the district attorney's office says, "justin carter's case will proceed through the criminal justice system like all other felony cases." carter's attorney says he will soon ask for a reduced bond so carter can come home to his family so fight the charges for an online message, he says, the teen now regrets. for today, mark potter , nbc news.