Men Arrested for Threatening Pokemon Event Denied Bail
"This wasn't just kid talk on the computer," a judge says.
The two armed men who were arrested after allegedly making online threats against the Pokemon World Championships were denied bail Tuesday in a Boston court.
The Associated Press reports that attorneys for 18-year-old Kevin Norton and 27-year-old James Stumbo argued that their comments were blown out of proportion. "This is just the way they all spoke to each other," Stumbo's lawyer, Steven Goldwyn, said in court today.
But a judge did not agree, and ordered the men to be held for at least four months as they await a trial. "This wasn't just kid talk on the computer," judge Thomas Horgan said.
According to prosecutors, Boston Police were notified of a Facebook chat conversation, between Stumbo and others, that made references to things like "Columbine pt 2," "another Boston massacre," and "Boston bombing." As part of this conversation, Stumbo supposedly said, "MY AR-15 says you lose."
Other posts reportedly made by Stumbo stated that he was "on his way to Boston" and "Kevin Norton and I are ready for worlds Boston here we come!!!" Prosecutors claim that Norton, in the wake of being blocked from a chatoom for bullying another person, allegedly said, "Oh, ok, that's fine then I will just shoot him on Friday thanks."
Authorities detained Norton and Stumbo in August as part of an investigation involving Boston's Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes federal agents from the FBI and Homeland Security. Discovered in their car was an AR-15 rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun, nearly 300 rounds of ammo, and a hunting knife.
Attorneys for Norton and Stumbo plan to file a motion to dismiss the charges, which include illegal possession of guns and ammunition. A hearing on the motion is set for September 24. Assistant District Attorney Joseph Janezic, however, says an investigation is underway to determine if other charges, including those related to cyberbullying and a mass casualty situation, might be brought against them.
Authorities said previously that Norton and Stumbo had the firepower to carry out a mass shooting.
The Pokemon World Championships were held August 21-23 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Mass. This potential security concern was cleared up before the event began.
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