Gov’t seeks 45 years for attack on Christian group
WASHINGTON (AP) — Prosecutors say a Virginia man who planned a mass killing at the Washington headquarters of a conservative Christian lobbying group should spend 45 years in prison for his plot.
Prosecutors filed a court document Friday that recommends the 45-year sentence for Floyd Corkins II.
A security guard subdued Corkins in the lobby of the Family Research Council in August after he pointed a pistol at the man. Corkins fired three shots, and the guard was the only one wounded. Corkins, who was carrying nearly 100 rounds of ammunition and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches, later told authorities that he had planned to kill as many people as possible and then to smear the sandwiches on their faces as a political statement.
Chick-fil-A was making headlines at the time because of its president’s stated opposition to gay marriage. The Family Research Council also opposes gay marriage, and police officers who responded to the shooting scene reported Corkins said he didn’t like the group or what it stands for.
The government said in making its recommendation that if not for the security guard’s actions, Corkins “would have almost certainly succeeded in committing a massacre of epic portions.”
“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, 28, told authorities he initially wanted to make a bomb but did not have the patience. He bought a gun in Virginia the week before the shooting and received private firearms training the night before his attack.
When Corkins was arrested, he was carrying a list of four socially conservative organizations written on a piece of paper printed with the Bible verse, “With God all things are possible.” He told authorities that if he had not been caught at the Family Research Council he planned to go to the next organization on his list and shoot there as well. Prosecutors did not release the list of organizations. They said approximately 50 people were working inside the Family Research Council when Corkins arrived.
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 currently set for April 29, though Corkins’ defense attorneys asked Monday to delay it so they can have additional time to get and look at his mental health records.
Follow Jessica Gresko at http://twitter.com/jessicagresko