Man who sent his teenage nephew into a busy intersection with a fake grenade launcher and dressed in Arab mimicking garb was convicted of endangering the boy’s life and carrying out a terrorism hoax and could face five or more years in prison.
Filmmaker Michael David Turley of Phoenix, Arizona was tried in Maricopa County Superior Court and jurors deliberated for two hours Monday before convicting the 40-year-old after prosecutors argued Turley could have gotten the boy killed because some witnesses said they even considered running him over in their vehicles.
At the time of the July stunt, Turley videotaped his nephew, whose head and body were wrapped in cloth, while he carried a fake rocket launcher as the boy pretended to be a terrorist.
Scary? Michael David Turley sent his teenaged nephew into a Phoenix intersection dressed in mock terrorist garb and carrying a fake grenade launcher in July and says it was to test the local authorities’ response time.
Crusader? Michael David Turley could face five years or more in jail for the stunt, but his attorney is pushing for a probation sentence.
Turley told an officer who arrived at the scene that he and his 16-year-old nephew, who was wrapped in a baby blue sheet, were filming a movie. They were not arrested at that point.
Turley’s video commentary makes a point of this, suggesting the officer, who told Turley to put the camera down, wasn’t concerned enough about the possibility it was an actual terrorist attack.
However, after the YouTube video he posted of the stunt made the rounds online, Turley was arrested and charged with giving a false impression of a terrorist act, according to abc15.com.
In the YouTube video, Turley said he wanted to see how long it would take authorities to respond to a terrorist situation and mentioned a movie theater shooting two weeks earlier that killed 12 people in Aurora, Colo.
He was also charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and ‘misconduct of simulated explosive devices.’ Sentencing is set for Aug. 8. Prosecutors said Turley faces penalties ranging from probation to more than five years in prison. Turley’s attorney, Brad Rideout, said he planned to ‘argue for probation’ for his client unless he wants to appeal the verdict.
‘We haven’t discussed that with him yet,’ Rideout said. ‘My client is in shock.’
Slow response: Turley and his nephew walked around a Phoenix, Arizona neighborhood hoping to attract the attention of police but were disappointed no one seemed afraid.