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Texas Teen Fighting To Stay Out Of Prison Over Facebook Post

Updated: Friday, August 29 2014, 08:21 PM CDT

A Central Texas teen is fighting to stay out prison -- and it's all over a Facebook post.

Justin Carter was 18 when he posted that he was going to shoot up a kindergarten. Today in New Braunfels his lawyers argued that the statement was protected free speech and should never have led to his arrest.

This is a cautionary tale about the unintentional power of social media.

It all started with a snippet of a Facebook conversation that was forwarded to authorities.

The language was graphic and so was the alleged threat.

And today Carter's attorneys said that's the point. They provided a parade of expert witnesses saying the statements were so over the top they never should have been taken seriously.

"We do not believe the comments that were made are criminal. They're protected by the first amendment. Did not make a threat. And there wasn't probable cause to arrest him," said Donald Flanary, Carter's attorney.

The attorneys also sought to suppress a jailhouse police interrogation they claim was done without their knowledge.

Judge Jack Robinson will have to decide whether the state's evidence should be thrown out or whether the case should proceed to trial.

By Fred Cantu

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Texas Teen Fighting To Stay Out Of Prison Over Facebook Post


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