Alleged Shooter Of Child In Arkansas Road Road Incident Charged With Both Murder and Terrorism

14825029757301482500652196One of the most disturbing crimes before Christmas has resulted in criminal charges. Gary Holmes, 33, has been charged with capital murder after he killed a three-year-old Arkansas boy, Acen King, out Christmas shopping with his grandmother in a senseless road rage incident. The murder charge is well founded but the case raises again the growing trend of prosecutors adding “terrorism” charges to such cases.

There was a $40,000 award offered to catch the culprit in the shooting after Holmes fled the scene of the crime. He allegedly shot the boy after becoming enraged that the grandmother was too slow after braking for a stop sign. After Holmes shot into the car, the grandmother drove away to call the police.

Holmes was also charged with two counts of carrying out a terroristic act. It is the addition of the terrorism counts that raises question over count stacking. The Arkansas law states:

5-13-310. Terroristic act.

(a) A person commits a terroristic act if, while not in the commission of a lawful act, the person:

(1) Shoots at or in any manner projects an object at a conveyance which is being operated or which is occupied by another person with the purpose to cause injury to another person or damage to property; or

(2) Shoots at an occupiable structure with the purpose to cause injury to a person or damage to property.

That seems virtually indistinguishable from the murder charges for all practical purposes. After 9-11 prosecutors started tacking on “terrorism” charges to what was once conventional criminal cases. The concern is that these charges are stacking counts based on the same underlying conduct. They also serve to devalue more conventional terrorism charges. If most crimes can be defined as terrorism, the term begins to lose its meaning. Moreover, there are often special procedures and sentencing provisions for terrorism. The result can not only be the inflation of sentencing but the loss of definition for such crimes.

In this case, Holmes is looking at a very strong prosecution for capital murder. The question is whether there is a practical or substantive need for the additional charges that redefine the road rage murder as terrorism. We were all enraged by this senseless and horrific act, but a capital murder charge certainly embodies that public outrage. Is there a need to add terrorism charges to such cases?

What do you think?

81 thoughts on “Alleged Shooter Of Child In Arkansas Road Road Incident Charged With Both Murder and Terrorism”

  1. So firing a gun at somebody in an act of road rage is not terrorizing them. The entire scenario was compressed into a single act of violence with two results, the terrorizing of a woman and the killing of a child. If he had missed the child it would have been an act of assault with a deadly weapon and terrorizing. This society is sickly close to accepting this sort of use of firearms. There are many idiots, brain damaged, understanding of the second half of the second amendment only who feel that this sort of madness comes with their rights. It would be OK if they could all be herded somewhere to terrorize each other, killing along the way, as a separate act of course.

  2. Some form of charge against the discharge of a firearm is warranted. I wouldn’t have called it terrorism.

  3. I believe the controversy is about nomenclature. If the legislature corrected the statute to remove the terroristic act nouns and instead replace these with sentencing enhancers it would not erode the meaning of a terrorist act.

    I suspect the law is intended to more easily encompass a standard drive by shooting charge to accept a real terrorist act doing the same action and make it prosecutable as efficient as possible. The down side to doing this is now the most basic idiotic act by some criminal becomes equal to terrorism.

    Using WA’s RCW to show how a distinction can be made:

    Two titles of the Revised Code of Washington are assigned to ordinary and usual crimes: Title 9 RCW (Crimes and Punishments) and Title 9A RCW (Washington Criminal Code)

    Yet, specific prosecution for explosives related terrorist acts themselves are codified in Title 70 RCW (Public Health and Safety) The definition for Terrorist Act is defined in RCW 70.74.285:

    “For the purposes of RCW 70.74.270, 70.74.272, and 70.74.280 “terrorist act” means an act that is intended to: (1) Intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (2) influence the policy of a branch or level of government by intimidation or coercion; (3) affect the conduct of a branch or level of government by intimidation or coercion; or (4) retaliate against a branch or level of government for a policy or conduct of the government.”

    The separation of the terrorist act from the standard criminal code means that there is no double jeopardy in that someone causing a terroristic explosion can also be tried for murder or other crimes. Considering that emplacing a bomb among a crowded location is extremely indifferent to human life, it will with ease satisfactorily meet an element for Aggravated First Degree Murder, a death penalty offense in Washington.

    1. Squeeky – I am not sure that Batman’s mental health is a good reason not to kill the Joker.

      1. My point exactly! If Batman cares more about other people, Batman should kill the Joker. If Batman cares more about his own self-image, Joker lives. From this we can glean that Batman is a Democrat.

        The Green Arrow, in one of his recent episodes, decided this too. If he had killed Damien Darkh when he had the chance, then Lauren (the Black Canary) would still be alive. Although, she just appeared in the Season Finale. So who knows?

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

        1. Squeeky – Shakespeare gave this problem in Hamlet. Early in Act ii, Hamlet finds his step-father alone and has the chance to kill him. However, what is the downside of this. Well, if Hamlet kills Claudius in Act ii we have a very short two act play. Now there are some people who think that Hamlet does not want Claudius to die in the state of Grace, which would happen if he killed him then and Claudius would go to heaven. For me, it is a lot easier, Shakespeare was paid to write a 5 act play, he had to pad out 3 more act before he can litter the stage with bodies.

            1. Squeeky – no I have not seen the adult Wednesday Adamms videos. Are they worth seeing?

                1. Chas Addams was morbid to begin with. They had someone who watched his cartoons and if they got too wacked out they would commit him for awhile.

  4. I like the terrorism charges in certain circumstances. The mutt terrorized the grandmother AND killed the child in the act of terrorizing the grandmother. If he had stolen her purse, he should have been charged with robbery as well, or would that be stacking the charges. There is too much legal masturbation going on here. The animal terrorized and killed=two charges.

    1. issac – if you look at if from your standpoint armed robbery and rape are also terroristic acts.

      1. Paul

        You know there’s such a thing as state sponsored terrorism, right? It’s rather naive and/or dishonest to deny that our own government carries out terroristic operations (e.g.Gulf of Tonkin, Mai Li). ditto ISRAEL.

        1. bill mcwilliams – off hand I cannot think of a government that has not used state sponsored terrorism, can you?

        2. The US terrorized Vietnam and murdered 3 +/- million of its citizens while it attempted to ‘have its way’. That has nothing to do with a mutt terrorizing a woman through road rage and murdering a child. The debate here, if there is one, is whether or not the mutt was over charged. The ‘lawyers’ gratify themselves with right and left hands while the common sense of the issue simply states that two crimes were committed. The mutt intended to assault/terrorize/seek vengeance/whatever and in the process killed a child. These are two distinct crimes. He could have done either alone but they came together. So give yourself a job and keep arguing all you legal eagles.

          1. Isaac once claimed that U.S. bombing raids killed 1.5 million North Vietnamese civilians.
            The estimates of Vietnamese killed during the American involvement in Vietnam vary widely.
            Since Isaac’s 1.5 million estimate of North Vietnamese civilians killed by U.S. bombing was several times higher than the very highest estimate provided by Hanoi Hanna, I asked Isaac where he got that number.
            He did not respond.
            Isaac has claimed that Nixon, Kissinger, Reagan, and Bush should be considered war criminals.
            I asked him why he excluded LBJ and McNamara from his “war criminal list”, since their policies got us in “whole hog”.
            Isaac did not respond to that question.
            Presumably, all casualties inflincted by the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong….all battle deaths, the massacres at Hue by the Communists, the assassinations of villagers by the VC, are all murders by Americans in Isaac’s calculations.
            Maybe Isaac counts the tens of thousands of executions by the Communist after Saigon fell as part of the “three million murdered by America”.
            Hundreds of thousands died imprisoned in “political education camps”, or in leaky vessels in attempted escape by the “boat people”.
            Presumably, Isaac’s logic coints these as murders by the U.S.
            You’re a real goldmine of sanctimonious distortions, Isaac.

            1. tnash

              It has been widely printed and stated in news casts that over 3 million Vietnamese did during the American war in Vietnam. Less than half were combat deaths or deaths of soldiers and the rest were ‘collateral’ damage. The US dropped more ordinance on Vietnam and the Vietnamese occupied areas of bordering countries than all the ordinance used in WW1 and WW2 combined. You can look these facts up for yourself. The approach the US used was similar to that used by the allies in WW2 against Germany and Japan. It worked then and was assumed to work in Vietnam. The difference was that Vietnam was not threatening the world, only trying to go their own way. The North Vietnamese committed many atrocities as did the South Vietnamese and Americans. Americans only hear it from their side.

              Regardless of the ‘on the ground’ atrocities committed by the North Vietnamese the carpet bombing of North Vietnam by the US was by far the worse atrocity. The idea was terrorist based sending a message to North Vietnam to give in or lose more women and children.

              You can play all your semantic games and bushwhack with demands for figures but you still come off weak. The US involvement in Vietnam was part of a ‘Great Game’ played by the USSR and the US. The pawns were the former colonies of the European nations, in this case France. Vietnam was promised its freedom by France and the allies if it did not ally itself with Japan. After the war the US supported a French initiative to regain its former colonial power and offset the rising of communism in the area. France was a tool of the US and lost 50,000+/- troops and killed hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese. When the French at home told their government to stop the US from its comfortable distance took over. The end result is history, factual, and available to anyone who can read. So, I won’t waste my time answering your questions. Don’t ask them, just do the research yourself. But, don’t cherry pick to suit yourself.

              1. In 1989 or 1990, I had just finished a three-day hike near Mammoth Lakes, and on my last night there stopped in for a beer at a local restaurant with a bar and dance floor upstairs. I sat at the bar next to an older fellow maybe in his early sixties. We got to talking. He was a local plumber, tossed a business card in front of me, nursed to empty a snifter of Grand Marnier and motioned for another.

                Because of his strong eastern European accent, I asked how long he’d been in Mammoth, and he offered the quick version of his life story. He related that he was born and raised in Poland but had fought in French Indochina during an enlistment in the French Foreign Legion, a subject which piqued my interest.

                For brevity, he described both colonial shots at it as an “unwinnable” war because they were fighting people who’d been invaded on their own turf. He said they fought like it, too. The gist was that the inherent motivation of the Vietnamese people to win was much greater than the motivation of those fighting for the imperial powers.

                Live and learn maybe next time around?

                1. Steve

                  You hit the nail straight on. The era of colonialism is over. It worked when the colonial powers were so much more technologically advanced and had a surplus of men being born with which to couple with war machines etc. Also the media took months to report the atrocities. Also most of the world was racist as opposed to almost most of the world today. The French could sail a modern warship into a port and bombard a city causing 10,000 deaths to terrorize the population into submission. That worked in the earlier part of the 20th Century when France had the modern battleships and cruisers and the locals had bows and arrows with the odd musket. When the locals develop an army that is armed as well as the oppressors and takes to the jungle, that stuff doesn’t last for long. Uncle Ho lived and worked in Paris and was a modern man with access to modern weapons and the Vietnamese had almost immediate access to the world around them. They knew the world was changing in their favor. The same followed with Algeria. The cross fertilization between Paris and Algeria brought the concept of self rule. What the independent colonial power transfers through its colonization of weaker and less developed peoples, was the very sense of independence enjoyed by the colonial power, at the expense of the colony, to the colony. How ya gonna keep em down on the farm after they’ve seen Pari?

                  The last colonial incursion, intrusion, slaughter of the US into Iraq is as clear an example as can be to let the place evolve on its own with influences from afar. It seems that Obama’s strategies have been the most appropriate for this mess; help the locals develop their stability, wax a few enemy to assist them, but above all let the locals do it. What was amazing is how stupid our leaders can be to attempt to do what failed so miserably before. The US is in dire need to learn the lessons of the former colonial powers instead of recreating history over and over. Get the money out of elections, change to a parliamentary system, allow and encourage at least two more political parties, and stop electing idiots like DDT, Inhofe, and McConnell to represent the people. The people need first and foremost to get themselves educated.

              2. Isaac,
                By all means, don’t waste your time trying to give sources for the set of “facts” that you make up as you go along.
                From your previous writings, we “know” that 1.5 million North Vietnamese civilians were killed by U.S. bombing.
                We “know” that Nixon and Kissinger are on Isaac’s “war criminal list”, but that LBJ and McNamara had, in your “mind”, only incidental roles in U.S. Vietnam policy.
                The massive amount of irdinance dropped could have leveled Hanoi several times over…since Hanoi itsels was off limits to bombing throughout almost all of the war, where were the 1.5 million North Vietnamese civilians you claim were killed by U.S. bombing located?
                As far as the French role that you mentioned, when they were defeated militarily and lost their IndoChina colonies, they almost immediately engageed in another colonial war in Algeria.
                One of the concerns about total U.S. disengagement was the likely slaughter and repression the Communist takeover would produce.
                That slsughter and repression did in fact happen, but the concern about those reprisals on those who sided against the Communists disappeared.
                Those targeted included any civilians suspected of working in offices with the South Vietnamese government or the U.S.
                As far as your suggestion that I “do the research”, I’ve done enough of it to know when a biased, blindly partisan hack like you repeatedly distorts hiatorical facts, doesn’t ” waste time” on providing sources or documentation when called on those distortions.

                1. The estimates of war deaths from ’65 to ’75 range from the hundreds of thousands to over 3 million with the larger than half in civilian deaths. The higher estimates are given by the North Vietnamese. I would tend to go with the estimate by the North Vietnamese, after all they were the ones getting slaughtered. As for the rest of your drivel, the war was a colonial power play first by the French then by the US. It was despicable and criminal regardless of the atrocities committed by the North Vietnamese. There were plenty of atrocities to go around. The point I am making is that there is a mental dysfunction in Americans which allowed this and then allowed the same thing to happen again in Iraq. This happens by Americans primarily due to the ‘We’re number one.’ and can’t do anything wrong, racist, bigoted aspects of a large part of the population. The recent election of America’s foremost bigot to the Presidency is as illustrative an example as needed, even to the severely obtuse such as yourself. Don’t lose yourself in statistics when even the statistics that you would select to lessen your opponents argument wipes yours out.

                  1. Isaac,
                    I don’t “lose myself in statistics.”
                    What I have done several times is ask you for your sources when you make up your own numbers…..and consistently, you duck out and change the subject.
                    As O mentioned before, when I see your estimates that are far higher than Hanoi Hanoi, it raises a question in my mind as to whether you are that ignorant of facts, or intentionally distort them.
                    That’s why I ask you for sources, and that’s why you change the subject. I ‘d guess that you probably opppose the U.S. ” colonialization” of South Korea as well; you seem unable to distinquish between real colonialization and attempts to support an ally.

    1. My first attempt to post a link to an article….looks like I
      flubbed it.
      Anyway, it was supposed to be a linke to a Jan. 20, 2016 Slate article on the use of the 1996 terrorism statute to tack on another 5 years to the Hammonds’ sentences.

  5. If you live in a predominantly lower-income black neighborhood, you are subject to terrorism. Daily. Look at Chiraq. Christmas 2016:

    CHICAGO (CBS) — The three-day Christmas weekend in Chicago has already become more violent than it was during the entire holiday weekend last year.

    Eleven men were killed and at least 32 others have been wounded in shootings across the city since Friday evening, according to Chicago Police.

    Last year, a total of 30 people were shot in Chicago over the four-day holiday weekend, leaving six dead.

    We ought to be executing these animals. Arkansas will probably croak this piece of crap, 20 years from now. What do you call it if you can’t go out shopping with your grandkid with out some savage black thug popping a cap into the kid? Terrorism works for me.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Had the shooter been a white man, would he too have qualified as a thug worthy of immediate execution? Just curious Squeeky because your comments seem to have an underlying attitude toward people based on their skin color.

      1. Heck yes my attitude would be the same. I am an equal opportunity proponent of the capital punishment!

        The racism is coming from your side, which thinks that self-defense is wrong whenever you shoot a black man.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

    2. Whether capital sentences should apply or not, the four blocs of territory in greater Chicago which are so disorderly are indubitably suffering from understaffing of law enforcement and failure to use best practices. New York City engineered an 82% cut in the homicide rate over a 20 year period with improved policing conjoined to the increase in the state’s prison census.

  6. I think that too many of those whom we have tasked with prosecuting individuals charged with a crime have taken their assignment to the extreme fringes of what constitutes criminal justice. They, and too large a segment of our population, seem to have come to the conclusion that extreme revenge, almost biblical old testament, rather than genuine justice is their objective. This is but one example. Yesterday I read a George Will column about just least one example of the abuse of asset forfeiture laws. Yes, criminals should be punished, but we’ve gone way to far toward the extreme view of the role of punishment in criminal justice. You can see it in our culture just on this blog from some of the barbarically extreme measures that a few of the regular commenters post about the punishments that should be meted out to those found guilty of a crime. Sometimes the comments are shockingly reminiscent of the very thing that some of them decry: Sharia law. This is a disturbing trend that began decades ago when we began adopting mandatory sentencing systems of justice.

    1. You wouldn’t have a lot of this crime if we had been meting out “Sharia Law” type punishments. You have about 700 murders a year in Chicago, and ZERO executions. Because idiot liberals want us to act “civilized.” Sooo, what are the 700 dead people? Victims of civilization.

      What has been “carried too far” is this wimply-a$$, muling, puking, liberal view of “civilization.” Start punishing the beejesus out of these perps and you will see “real” civilization start to benefit. In the meantime, I hope some of these thugs start offing more of the effete white people in the blue states, and less poor folks in lieu of their typical black victims. That ought to get the Reality Ball to rolling!

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      PS: Oh, and Merry Christmas!

      1. Squeeky — If you actually believe what you have written here, then I can only conclude that our species is all the poorer in reputation and judgement as a result of being afflicted with people who think like you. You display a shockingly depraved attitude toward many other humans. You seem to have far too many attitudes in common with some of the most despicable persons in human history.

        1. Gee, how about actually “analyzing and discussing” what I said, instead of just calling me names. If you think executions are horrible, then accept responsibility for what has happened under your benevolent regime. If you think executing drug dealers is wrong, then accept the 24,000 overdose deaths per year.

          Societies in the past killed criminals for a very good reason. To put down crime, and promote stability and order. But there are too many people like you, who are too finicky to maintain civilization.

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

          1. Doctors dole out oxycodone like candy in Appalachia. More addicted babies born there than any where else.

      2. Squeeky, please do not stoop to the terrorists’ level.

        Raising people up will, in the long term, be more effective.

        The crap food people eat, stress, poisons in what we ingest, wear, and breathe–all of it damages people’s executive function, emotional and impulse control, ability to think. People do have Free Will and people are sinful, but health plays a huge role in affecting behavior.

        Lousy upbringings and low education exacerbate the problems.

        Ignorance and Want–the Ghost of Christmas Present was right when he told Scrooge they spelled our Doom.

        Executing people does nothing to fix the underlying problems.

        1. Executing people does nothing to fix the underlying problems.

          The underlying problem is the detritus of original sin. The only address one can make to certain manifestations of the underlying problem is to deter, punish, and incapacitate. For the worst of the worst, the firing squad is the solution.

        2. People don’t commit crimes because they eat processed food. You were Dan White’s attorney, weren’t you?

          1. You are correct, people do not commit crimes because they eat processed foods.

            However, studies done on inmates have shown many of them to be deficient in fatty acids, which aid in brain function and good mental health, as does vitamin D.



            Interesting that you decided to take my argument to prevent these deficiencies in the first place as an argument to let people off for criminal behavior. I made no such argument. I, too, support capital punishment when warranted, as well as lengthy sentences when warranted. There are consequences for one’s actions.

            However, I also favor actually rehabilitating felons, which should include their health and education.

            1. See Fuller Torrey on this subject: ‘mental health’ is a vague, half-baked idea. And you cannot rehabilitate criminals and should make no such attempts. That is not the state’s job.

              1. Thank you for introducing me to Dr. Torrey. He and I think along the same lines. The current state of “mental health” treatment is abyssmal. It behaves as though the brain and the mind are separate from the body. It does not take into account the effects of folate or B12 deficiency and MTHFR SNPs can have on the the mind. It does not take into account that the microbiome of the gut can affect the production of neurotransmitters. It does not take into account the effect of viruses, yeast, or other bacteria on the mind (through the agent crossing the blood-brain barrier or endotoxins doing so).

                While there are drugs on his list, Dr. Torrey did include folate a methyl donor) and fatty acids:


              2. You might enjoy this article:


                “Taken together with a study in a high-security prison for young offenders in the UK, it shows that violent behaviour may be attributable at least in part to nutritional deficiencies.

                The UK prison trial at Aylesbury jail showed that when young men there were fed multivitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, the number of violent offences they committed in the prison fell by 37%. Although no one is suggesting that poor diet alone can account for complex social problems, the former chief inspector of prisons Lord Ramsbotham says that he is now “absolutely convinced that there is a direct link between diet and antisocial behaviour, both that bad diet causes bad behaviour and that good diet prevents it.”

                1. You’ve quoted The Guardian, not the paper. The static added by The Guardian aside, show me that someone replicated the study.

  7. “Terrorism” is a national-security offense which does not belong in state penal codes.

    1. Oh no? Apparently this terrorism statute does belong in the AR criminal code, at least on this set of facts, or the assault on the grandmother wouldn’t have been considered a crime punishable as a Class Y felony. A conviction for a Class Y felony in Arkansas results in a prison term of ten to 40 years or life. (Ark. Code §§ 5-4-401, 5-4-201.)

      Without the terrorism statute, the best the State could have done with that assault was assault in the first degree, a Class A felony. Class A felonies in Arkansas are punishable by six to 30 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $15,000. (Ark. Code §§ 5-4-401, 5-4-201.)

      This means the county prosecutor can ask for an extra 10 years to life for the assault on the grandmother, based on the terrorism statute alone, that wouldn’t otherwise have been available.

      1. Steve – if I’ve got this right, if you kill the grandmother, you get murder one, one count. If you miss the grandmother and killed the grandchild you get a terrorism charge. It all depends on how good a shot you are. Is that correct? Or are they just stacking charges to get a plea bargain?

        1. Steve – if I’ve got this right, if you kill the grandmother, you get murder one, one count. If you miss the grandmother and killed the grandchild you get a terrorism charge. It

          In New York, you get the murder charge. The law is indifferent as to whether you kill your target or you kill a third person.

        2. Paul: Darren’s post is a good one. The answer to your question is perhaps about pleading appropriately against lesser-included offenses and not placing a defendant twice in jeopardy for the same crime, in addition to the effect on the potential sentence, consecutive sentencing, and plea bargaining. Here’s my nickel’s worth (I don’t practice criminal law, so take this with a grain of salt, and hopefully one of the criminal-defense attorneys on the list will chime in):

          — For purposes of this case, under 5-10-101(a), “[a] person commits capital murder if: . . .

          “(10) The person:

          “(A) Purposely discharges a firearm from a vehicle at a person or at a vehicle . . . that he or she knows or has good reason to believe to be occupied by a person; and

          “(B) Thereby causes the death of another person under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.”

          — Under 5-13-205(a), “[a] person commits assault in the first degree if he or she:

          “(1) Recklessly engages in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person . . .”

          First-degree assault on the child may or may not be a lesser-included offense of capital murder of the child (though, admittedly, I don’t know for sure – the Blockburger test from Brown v. Ohio (1977) may or may not still be used to determine a lesser-included offense), but, if it is a lesser-included offense, a conviction for capital murder of the child would prevent a conviction for first-degree assault on the child. (Double jeopardy prevents cumulative punishment for the same crime.)

          Pleading a terrorist act rather than first-degree assault may allow Gary Holmes to be convicted of both capital murder of the child and of a terrorist act (“[s]hoots at or in any manner projects an object at a conveyance which is being operated or which is occupied by another person with the purpose to cause injury to another person or damage to property . . .”) against the child if neither count is a lesser-included offense of the other.

          Mr. Holmes can also be convicted of capital murder of the child and first-degree assault on the grandmother, which is better pleaded using the terrorist-act statute because of the increased sentencing potential and because consecutive sentencing may be imposed for multiple crimes.

          As Prof. Turley states, nonetheless, it does change the definition of traditional crimes a bit by characterizing an assault as a terrorist act in a sort of catch-all statute. Rather than using a terrorist-act statute, the first-degree assault statute could have been modified to include the relevant language and then have designated that specific type of first-degree assault a Class Y felony.

  8. The Arkansas terrorism statute at issue (there are others, like those protecting against the commission of terrorism against government) appears to proscribe what amounts to a swing and a miss assault (attempted battery) committed against the grandmother and resulting in the death of the child.

    “5-13-310(a)”(1) Shoots at or in any manner projects an object at a conveyance which is being operated or which is occupied by another person with the purpose to cause injury to another person or damage to property . . .”

    Because the child died, a conviction for such a terrorist act turns a Class B felony committed against the grandmother into a Class Y felony if the defendant intended physical harm to the grandmother:

    5-13-310(b)(1) Upon conviction, any person who commits a terroristic act is guilty of a Class B felony.
    (2) Upon conviction, any person who commits a terroristic act is guilty of a Class Y felony if the person with the purpose of causing physical injury to another person causes serious physical injury or death to any person.

    It doesn’t appear to me to be stacking/piling-on count.

  9. Labeling someone a terrorist makes it easier to harass and plea bargain. Americans citizens do not necessarily have the right to due process if they are accused of being a terrorist. (I am surprised they have not arrested the Indians protestors at Standing Rock yet for ECO-TERRORISM.) You can be held in a military jail without charge and without a clear path of appeal for your indefinite confinement.
    Hundreds of U.S. residents, usually muslim, have been detained for months at a time, and denied access to the advice and advocacy of an attorney. The Government may now monitor conversations between attorneys and clients in federal jails.
    Remember the Bush Administration filed papers arguing that an American citizen held in a military
    jail without charge should be denied access to legal counsel because such access would interfere with
    the process of his interrogation? “Thus when Bush began wielding the discretionary power of treating a person as either a suspected terrorist or a criminal defendant, he brought about a revolutionary transformation in the Bill of Rights,…The most notable example of this discretionary authority involves an American citizen named Jose Padilla. Accused of terrorism, he was labeled an enemy combatant, taken to a military dungeon in South Carolina, and incarcerated and tortured for three years. Afterwards, U.S. officials suddenly converted him to criminal-defendant status, indicting him and convicting him of terrorism.
    It’s important to note that what they did to Padilla they can now do to every other American.” – Jacob Hornberger
    “Domestic terrorism is the use, or threatened use, of violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
    As a terrorist you may be jailed without a formal charge and without the right to confront the witnesses or
    evidence against you.-

  10. People become desensitized to words like “murder” and “killing”. So, in order to emphasize their point, prosecutors, the media and anyone else so inclined need stronger words like “terrorism” and “hate crime” to say to the public “Hey, what this knucklehead did is really serious”. When the populace becomes desensitized to those words, linguists will need to invent new words. The reverse is also true. The word “welfare” developed negative connotations, so the term “public assistance” was substituted. “Public assistance” developed the same negative connotations, so “entitlements” is now used. Similarly and for reasons known only to real estate agents, “dead end” becomes “no outlet”. Changing the words we use to describe the behavior is easier than changing the behavior or how we feel about the it. Take Noam Chomsky and add steroids.

  11. I still don’t understand sentencing guidelines. Does the terrorism charge strengthen a weak murder sentencing guideline.

    1. OLLY

      Since our government is the largest purveyor of state-sponsored terrorism in the world,, the government itself would be held to account – in a more just world. All, or nearly all of the so-called acts of terror in the U.S. are nothing more than false flag operations. 9/11, Sandy Hook, Boston Marathon, PULSE nightclub, San Bernardino, Aurora Colorado etc. are all prime examples of MIHOP (make it happen on purpose) acts. Add Gulf of Tonkin, Shoe Bomber etc. Even the attack on Pearl Harbor was a LIHOP (let it happen on purpose

      1. Speaking of purveyors of fake news…of course Bill you will be able to provide original source material to prove your post is true, right?

        1. OLLY

          The fake news is what MSM told you about the events I listed. ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, MSNBC, NYT, WP, NPR, Rush L et al. YOU should ask them to provide original source material to prove THEIR claims – but don’t expect anything more than Gov’t propaganda e.g. NIST report, FBI reports etc.

          The truth is out there. Thanks to the WEB, it;s easier than ever to discover. Do some research.

          1. One sure sign that a person has gone off the deep-end and lost the ability to think critically is the offering of wildly implausible claims without any offer of evidence and then, when asked to supply the evidence, simply saying that the critic is wrong and that they should go do their own research. No, bc, you have failed in the argument already. It is ALWAYS the responsibility of the person making the claim to offer the evidence for the claim. So fulfill your obligation and provide the evidence, otherwise there is no obligation to take you seriously or treat you as anything other than a crank on the fringe.

            1. SS

              This isn’t a legal proceeding, but if you can provide evidence that proves 9/11 happened the way Bush said, I’ll be happy to consider it.

              Planes can’t go thru buildings as though the buildings were made of butter, and fires don’t cause steel structures to collapse.

              You make it easy to dismiss your uninformed opinions.

              1. bill mcwilliams – a B-24 bomber flew into the Empire State Building near the end of WWII. It wiped out most of the people on the floor and it took months to remove it. And injured elevator operator was put in the elevator to be taken down and the cables broke, falling some 70 floors. She survived.

            2. SS, recall the character Albert Teskowitz in Bonfire of the Vanities. Chewing the fat with the prosecutor, he says of a kooky client, “I try not to broach the subject because if you get him going, it’s an hour out of your life. Have you ever talked to a logical lunatic? They’re much worse than an ordinary lunatic…”.

    2. Nick, Paul Schulte, and Olly..
      – You might be interested in looking at the case of the Hammonds on Oregon.
      They were convicted of arson- illegally setting fires on leased government land ( adjacent to their farm…they leased it for grazing land).
      The Hammonds ( father and son) were sentenced to 3 months and one year respectively.
      They served their sentences, but federal prosecutors appealed and were successfull in sending them back to prison for an additional 5 years under federal terrorism statutes.
      The demonstrations against these additional sentences drew the Bundys and other ” militia types” to the Burns Oregon area.
      Later, the federal wildlife refuge was taken over and occupied by the Bundys, and others, who initially came to Oregon to join the local protests against the Hammonds’ resentencing.
      ( I was surprized when the Bundys and codefendents were acquitted on most charges).
      They now face charges in Nevada related to the 2014 armed standoff against federal officers who confronted the Bundys over unpaid grazing fees on federal land…I think the feds were going to confiscate their cattle, but withdrew due to avoid a large scale gun battle.
      Anyway, the initial “spark” for the events that culminated in the seizure of the federal Mulhaeur Wilflife Refuge in Oregon early this year was the resentencing of the Hammonds under the terrorism charges.

      1. tnash – how did they convince a judge or jury that federal grazing land had people on it to be terrorized? Am I missing something here?

        1. Paul Schulte….
          My understanding is that the Hammonds claimed that they were legitimately doing a “noxious weed control” burn, but that they were accused of starting the fire to cover up illegal poaching.
          In any case, they were originally convicted of arson and served their time sentenced for that offense.
          Federal prosecutors argued that they were improperly sentenced…..that a federal terrorism statute mandated an additional 5 year sentence.
          I think the argument was that the arson endangered firefighters, and therefore could be covered by a terrorism statute ( I don’t know the details of the particular “terrorism” statute prosectors used).
          The Ninth Circuit Court agreed with the prosecutors, so the Hammonds were sent back to prison to serve another 5 years.
          The Hammonds evidently had a lot a local support among neighbors in the Burns, Oregon area.
          Demonstrations were held protesting the additional sentences, and those demonstrations drew in the “militia types” from other states ( who ultimately occupied the Wildlife Refuge).
          The locals were not involved in the occupation of the refuge, and there was a tense c. 6 week period when the armed “militia types” occupied the wildlife refuge.
          Most of the occupiers were intercepted on the highway to as they were driving c. 90 miles to another town to give a presentation.
          Law enforcement gave them a lot of leeway in coming and going, and were looking for the “right time” to arrest them; they obviously did not want to storm the wildlife refuge.
          The Bundys and others were arrested on the remote highway…Levoy Finnicum of Arizona was fatally shot as he allegedly reached for a weapon.
          I happen to know that area fairly well….have traveled that road many times, so I had an extra interest in following the case.
          I thought of this ( Hammond) case in relation to the topic of this column….the use of “terrorism” charges to “stack on” other charges.
          The federal prosecutor for Oregon seemed to spearhead the effort to send the Hammonds back to prison.
          He is a controversial figure for that, and other, decisions.
          I have a feeling that he may not be in that job much longer.

          1. tnash – well, depending on which judges you draw, the Ninth Circuit are not the sharpest tools in the drawer. Thanks for the explanation. It makes more sense now. I don’t agree, but I can see how they got there with their twisted logic.

            1. Paul Schulte…
              – I need to make one correction… appears that the U.S. Attorney for Oregon was not the one pressing for the additional “terrorism” sentence.
              I don’t know who the “players” were who got the extra 5 year sentences for the Hammonds, but evidently Loretta Lynch’s DOJ encouraged the “terrorism sentencing”.

  12. I do not believe in tacking on since it is used to get the defendant to plea bargain. I think the terror statute was poorly written and the legislature needs to go back and look at revising it. If I were on the jury and assuming I found the man guilty, I would vote not guilty on the terrorism and drag my heels on that one.

  13. RICO, hate crime laws, terrorism laws, etc. are all bound to be abused by the govt. This guy should get the max under the appropriate homicide statute.

  14. This is a tragic story. The defendant, once convicted, deserves severe punishment. But the prosecutor seems like someone who, if they heard someone say “Hi Jack” to President Kennedy, would indict them for “hijacking”.

  15. The concern is that these charges are stacking counts based on the same underlying conduct

    Exactly and you shouldn’t be tried twice for the same charges….

    We can thank Bush & crew for coming up with a wonderful selection of labels for just plain criminals.

      1. Something prolapsed his bowel at some point early on in Obama’s first term of office. I’m still trying to figure out what it was, but it had to be something devastating or a combination of things. He was guaranteed a comfortable life after office, so it’s still hard for me to believe that it was money.

        For me, it’s the $60,000.00 question for Obama after passing around the joint.

        1. I agree. I saw a change, too. It was not money; it was knowledge. He learned something.

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