Coming to a Battlefield Near You: Defendant Calls for Mass Murder at University, Alabama Judge Gives Him Probation and Sends Him To Join Army

In Alabama, Circuit Judge Tracey McCooey was faced with a man, Zachary Lambert, 23, who posted messages about wanting to commit mass murder at Virginia Tech. McCooey decided that best place for him was not jail, but enlisting in the Army.

For the Army’s part, they do not want him . . . right now. They may take him after he has served probation for advocating mass murder.

The judge insists “Military is a good, good thing for you.” McCooey even offered to adjust the probation sentence if it is an obstacle in heading off to basic training
to learn how to use major ordinance.

Lambert was a student at Faulkner University in December when he posted the message on Facebook about trying to break the record of the Virginia Tech shooter, who killed 32 people.

McCooey also wants Lambert to talk to schoolchildren.

Putting aside the sentencing issues, I am a bit curious about the charge: a misdemeanor for harassing communications. It is a charge that obviously raises serious first amendment questions of what is considered a “harassing communication.”

Source: AfterDowningStreet

Jonathan Turley

14 thoughts on “Coming to a Battlefield Near You: Defendant Calls for Mass Murder at University, Alabama Judge Gives Him Probation and Sends Him To Join Army”

  1. This judge is clearly off his nut, as is the defendant. This man needs to get some mandatory psychological treatment, not Army training. This kind of thing was occasionally done by judges in the 1960’s, particularly in small towns where the judge might know the defendant or his parents. In the case of a non-violent crime the judge might release the young man on condition that he return in 2 or 3 days with his enlistment papers and the charges would be dropped. This was often a good alternative to a young man who faced the draft anyway.

  2. The judge has found the perfect place for Mr. McCooey to act out his fantasies. Now the military just has to make sure that McCooey channels these desires toward the “right” people, i.e., the ones with towels on their heads, not the other guys in his unit.

  3. Berry – that is not a joke, that is a desperate cry for help & this guy needs some.

    What is the Army supposed to do for this loser? They have enough problems with totally unqualified lemons sent by recruiters more interested in making their quota than in helping either the recruit or the Army. They won’t fix him so; this is a lose, lose, lose.

  4. The Military has changed some standards but one thing that has not changed is….you cannot be on active probation or seek to have your probation altered just to join the US Military. Now when I was in Hi School…you had a charge….charges filed or Military….Usually they enlisted….

  5. What is wrong with this judge? This could never have sounded like a good idea, especially not after the Fort Hood shooting.

  6. Believe or not, my daughter knows this guy. He’s a friend of hers and she is adamant that he meant what he posted to be a joke. He didn’t say that he wanted to commit mass murder at Va Tech. What he said was that he was going to Faulkner and try to beat Seung-Hoi Cho’s record.

    Seung-Hoi Cho was the perpetrator of the Va Tech massacre.

    Some joke, huh?

    I really don’t get that a judge can order someone to join the military. First, it puts the person potentially in harm’s way. Second, by what tenet of law can a judge order such a thing. And third, in what bizarro universe does it make sense to “reform” someone who seems to be caught up with fantasies of death and killing by making them join the military so that they can be taught to kill?

  7. Draft schmaft. The Prison Industrial Complex can provide fresh meat for the war grinder.

  8. I’m glad I don’t live in Alabama I got a traffic ticket,that I have to go to court for.

  9. This really brings up fond memories of those thrilling days of yesteryear:



    Came to talk about the draft.

    They got a building down New York City, it’s called Whitehall Street,
    where you walk in, you get injected, inspected, detected, infected,
    neglected and selected. I went down to get my physical examination one
    day, and I walked in, I sat down, got good and drunk the night before, so
    I looked and felt my best when I went in that morning. `Cause I wanted to
    look like the all-American kid from New York City, man I wanted, I wanted
    to feel like the all-, I wanted to be the all American kid from New York,
    and I walked in, sat down, I was hung down, brung down, hung up, and all
    kinds o’ mean nasty ugly things. And I waked in and sat down and they gave
    me a piece of paper, said, “Kid, see the phsychiatrist, room 604.”

    And I went up there, I said, “Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I
    wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and
    guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill,
    KILL, KILL.” And I started jumpin up and down yelling, “KILL, KILL,” and
    he started jumpin up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down
    yelling, “KILL, KILL.” And the sargent came over, pinned a medal on me,
    sent me down the hall, said, “You’re our boy.”

    Just remember this when sent to the phsychiatrist (sic).

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