A Boston judge refused bail for two Iowa men accused of plotting an attack at the Pokemon World Championships, saying there is a difference between being a keyboard commando and posting images of weapons or threatening posts about a potential shooting.
"This wasn’t just talk on a computer," Judge Thomas Horgan said on Tuesday morning in Boston Municipal Court. “They brought physical weapons into the city.”
He ordered James Stumbo, 27, and Kevin Norton, 18, held without bail for 120 days until their January 2016 trial date. Prosecutors said Stumbo and Norton drove 25 hours to Boston in hopes of shooting up the Pokemon championship event at the Hynes Convention Center on Aug. 21.
Boston Police Detective James Simpton told the court that after serving a search warrant for Norton’s car, police found an arsenal of ammunition as well as a 12-gauge shotgun and an AR-15.
Photos of the guns were posted to Stumbo’s Facebook account, and show an AR-15 and a 12-gauge shotgun arranged in an X on the trunk of Norton’s 2002 Chevy Prizm with a NRA sticker on the trunk. The caption reads: “Kevin Norton and I are ready for worlds Boston here we come!!!” In the comments section under the picture, a friend wished them luck. Norton replied, “with killing the competition?”
Other alleged threats include references to “Columbine pt. 2,” “another Boston Massacre,” the “Boston bombing” and other alarming quotes from a chatroom conversation. In one instance, Stumbo is said to have written “My AR-15 says ‘you lose.’”
Simpton said that the moderator of a Pokemon chatroom was the intended target. They had banned Norton from the forum, to which Norton is said to have responded, “OK, well I’ll just shoot you on Friday.”
According to the prosecution, neither men had permits for gun ownership.
The trial is schedule for January 2016.