The defense attorney for Floyd Lee Corkins, who shot up the offices of the Family Research Council, on August 15, 2012, says he wanted to kill “conservative right-wing Christians.”
Corkins entered the lobby armed with a loaded semi-automatic pistol, 100 rounds of ammunition, and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches. He started firing at FRC’s building manager Leo Johnson who heroically tackled the shooter after a gunshot shattered his arm.
Corkins pled guilty to three charges, including committing an act of domestic terrorism while armed – the first such charge in Washington, D.C and government is seeking a 45-year prison term for the liberal activist. Corkins has pleaded guilty and his public defender is hoping to get him a reduced sentence of 11 years. The attorney also provided some rationale for while Corkins targeted the pro-life group.
In a 13-page filing with the D.C. federal trial court, Assistant Federal Public Defender David Bos argued that Corkins should serve 138 months in prison for his “nearly unimaginable” crime. Federal prosecutors are seeking 45 years for the 29-year-old Virginia man, whose sentencing has been delayed because of sequestration’s impact of federal public defenders.
If Corkins “were unrepentant or unremorseful for his conduct, and not suffering from a mental illness at the time he committed the offenses, a severe sentence might indeed be warranted in this case,” Bos stated.
But Corkins was “experiencing auditory hallucinations” and had “thoughts of killing his parents and conservative right-wing Christians” in the months leading up to his crime, his lawyer argued. The day before the shooting took place, he missed his monthly shot of an anti-depressant drug.
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Corkins is scheduled to be sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard W. Roberts next Thursday, Sept. 19.
In a chilling Federal Bureau of Investigation interrogation video released in April, Corkins said that he picked his target from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) website.