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Anonymous Person Posts $500,000 Bond To Free Texas Teen

An undated photo of Justin Carter, who's facing a felony "terroristic threat" charge in Texas.
Courtesy of Jack Carter
An undated photo of Justin Carter, who's facing a felony "terroristic threat" charge in Texas.

Justin Carter, the 19-year-old who was arrested and jailed in February after making a Facebook comment about a school shooting, is out of jail. An anonymous donor posted the $500,000 bond to allow Carter to go home. Carter plans to stay near New Braunfels, Texas, to await his trial on a felony terroristic threat charge.

"He's glad he's out. His family is ecstatic. He feels good. He is relieved. It's been an ordeal," said Don Flanary, Carter's attorney. Flanary said he got a call Wednesday from the sympathetic donor, who said he wanted to help. The donor wired the money last night. "We got a cashier's check cut this morning and got [Carter] out. He's free," said Flanary.

Carter, who was indicted by a Comal County grand jury in April, has gotten global attention because of the First Amendment questions raised by his case and the high bail that kept him behind bars for nearly five months. Flanary told NPR last week that he had represented "murderers, rapists, terrorists" and none had had such high bail.

Carter will be staying with his family as his case winds through the courts. Flanary says the donor wants to remain anonymous. "He is betting $500,000 that Justin will show up for court," Flanary said. "At the completion of the case, the court will return the money to us, and we'll return it to the wonderful person who sent it."

Comal County District Attorney Jennifer Tharp released a statement last week saying, "Ethical rules prohibit a prosecutor from making any statements ... therefore, there is very little information we can provide at this time."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Elise Hu is a host-at-large based at NPR West in Culver City, Calif. Previously, she explored the future with her video series, Future You with Elise Hu, and served as the founding bureau chief and International Correspondent for NPR's Seoul office. She was based in Seoul for nearly four years, responsible for the network's coverage of both Koreas and Japan, and filed from a dozen countries across Asia.