Floyd Lee Corkins II, the man accused of shooting a security guard at the Washington headquarters of the anti-gay Family Research Council (FRC) in August, pleaded not guilty to 10 charges against him, including a charge of ''terrorism,'' in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Friday morning.
Corkins, 28, of Herndon, Va., was indicted by a grand jury on all 10 charges Wednesday, Oct. 24, becoming the first defendant charged with an ''act of terrorism'' as defined under a section of the District of Columbia's Anti-Terrorism Act of 2002. The law's definitions of terrorism include an act or actions committed with the intent to ''intimidate or coerce a significant portion of the civilian population of the District of Columbia or the United States.'' The terrorism charge alone is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Leo Johnson and Mayor Gray
(Photo by Lateef Mangum)
Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, confirmed to Metro Weekly that the charge against Corkins is the first time someone has been charged under D.C. law of committing an act of terrorism under that specific section of the 2002 law, although he added that another section of the law was used in the prosecution of another case.
Corkins was previously indicted on a federal count of interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition, as well as two local counts of assault with intent to kill while armed and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, charges to which he pleded not guilty at his last court hearing, Aug. 24.
Wednesday's indictment incorporated the three previous charges, along with one count of committing an act of terrorism while armed, one count of attempted murder while armed, one count of aggravated assault while armed, one count of second-degree burglary while armed, and three counts of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence.
After pleading not guilty, Judge Richard Roberts scheduled Corkins for a Dec. 3 follow-up hearing. In the meantime, Corkins remains held without bond as he awaits trial. No trial date has been set, Miller confirmed.
Corkins's plea follows Mayor Vincent Gray (D) awarding the injured security guard in the case, Leonardo ''Leo'' Reno Johnson, 46, of Washington, with the first-ever Mayor's Medal of Honor for heroism during the attack. After being shot, Johnson managed to disarm and subdue the assailant, allegedly Corkins, in the FRC entrance until police arrived.
''Leo Johnson put his life on the line to wrestle a firearm away from an assailant and prevented what could have been a very tragic situation,'' Gray said at the Oct. 22 ceremony, as quoted in a statement from his office. ''He is a hero and it is my privilege to recognize his bravery by awarding him with the Medal of Honor.''
According to charging documents, Corkins entered FRC offices at 801 G St. NW on Aug. 15 and was stopped by Johnson. Corkins allegedly told Johnson, ''I don't like your politics'' before opening fire, striking Johnson in the arm.
Corkins allegedly brought a bag of Chick-fil-A sandwiches with him to the crime scene, stirring speculation that the crime might be connected to LGBT rights, with Chick-fil-A recently coming under fire for supporting a foundation that made donations to anti-gay organizations.
Corkins had previously volunteered at The DC Center, the area's LGBT community center, as a front desk receptionist.