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Teen jailed for sarcastic remark beaten up in jail, now on suicide watch

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Robby Soave
Reporter

Grisly new details emerged in the story of the ongoing imprisonment of Justin Carter, who racked up months in jail for making sarcastic, violent threats after playing an online video game.

Carter has been beaten up multiple times while in jail in Comal County, Texas, according to NPR. He is now on suicide watch.

“This was his first incarceration, his first charge, and without getting into the really nasty details, he has had concussions, he has had black eyes,” said Jack Carter, Justin’s father, in a statement.

Carter also said his son has become depressed about his situation, has spent time in solitary confinement and has been moved out of fear that he might hurt himself.

Justin Carter was arrested last February for making a sarcastic, threatening remark against a school after being provoked by another player in League of Legends, an online video game. Carter followed his remark with “lol” and “jk,” signalling that it was not a serious threat. Nevertheless, Texas authorities have charged him with making threats of a terrorist nature, and set his bail at $500,000.

Carter’s lawyer, Don Flanary, was shocked by the high bail amount.

“I’ve represented murderers terrorists, rapists, anything you can think of,” said Flanary in a statement. “I’ve never seen a bond at $500,000.”

A spokesperson for Comal County told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Carter’s bail was set by a judge, but couldn’t say why the amount was so high. A large bail typically indicates that the suspect is extremely dangerous, or a substantial flight risk.

Carter is one of two teenagers imprisoned for months for the crime of making off-color, threatening comments over the internet in response to a video game. Josh Pillault has been imprisoned for even longer–since last October. He recently pled guilty to the charges against him out of fear that fighting them would result in a lengthier sentence.

“This has been an absolute nightmare,” said Stacey Pillault, Josh’s mother, in an email to TheDC News Foundation.

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