Government seeks 45 years for FRC shooter
by Leigh Jones
Posted 4/22/13, 03:28 pm
Prosecutors are seeking a 45-year sentence for the man who pleaded guilty to plotting an attack at the Family Research Council’s Washington, D.C., headquarters in August 2012.
Floyd Corkins II, of Virginia, never got past the building’s lobby thanks to a security guard. Leo Johnson tackled and subdued Corkins, but not before the attacker fired three shots, hitting the guard in the arm. After Corkins’ arrest, police found nearly 100 rounds of ammunition and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches in his backpack.
Corkins, 28, told authorities he planned to shoot as many people as possible and smear the sandwiches in their faces as a political statement. The volunteer for The DC Center for the LGBT Community was angry over the position conservatives, including Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy, have taken on homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
In court documents filed Friday, government prosecutors said their sentencing recommendation is based on Corkins’ intent. Without Johnson’s intervention, the attacker “would have almost certainly succeeded in committing a massacre of epic portions,” the filing said.
“Although the defendant largely failed to bring about the violence he sought, he was still able to accomplish one of his objectives—that is, to use acts of violence to terrorize and intimidate those within the District of Columbia and the United States who did not share his political beliefs and views,” government attorneys wrote.
Corkins told authorities he wanted to make a bomb but didn’t have the patience. He bought the gun used in the attack in Virginia a week before walking into the Family Research Council (FRC) headquarters claiming to have an internship interview. He took a private firearms training course the night before.
And the FRC’s 50 employees were not Corkins’ only intended victims. When he was arrested, police found a list of four conservative organizations on a piece of paper that included a portion of Matthew 19:26 printed on it: “With God, all things are possible.” Authorities have not released the names of the other organizations but did confirm Corkins planned to target them next if he hadn’t been caught.
Corkins pleaded guilty to three charges in February: interstate transportation of a firearm, assault with intent to kill while armed, and committing an act of terrorism while armed. The first charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and the two other charges carry a maximum 30 years in prison. Sentencing is set for April 29.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the news editor for The World and Everything in It and reports on education for WORLD Digital.