Demarious Merkerson, a Metro Atlanta man was arrested October 3, 2018 for threatening to kill everyone inside of a Kroger store. Right now, according to reports, he is stating that his twin brother made the threats that put him in jail.
According to Channel 2, Merkerson explained, “I called up there, but I didn't threaten them. I was outside, and somebody in the background said, ‘I will kill you. I will kill everybody.' It was not me. It was somebody else.”
Merkerson is facing felony charges for terroristic threats in Georgia, and as an Atlanta Criminal Lawyer, I will outline the law behind terroristic threats as well as the consequences if convicted.
Terroristic Threats in Georgia
Georgia Law defines terroristic threats in Georgia as:
A person commits the offense of a terroristic threat when he or she threatens to:
- Commit any crime of violence;
- Release any hazardous substance; or
- Burn or damage property.
The terroristic threat shall be made:
- With the purpose of terrorizing another;
- With the purpose of causing the evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation;
- With the purpose of otherwise causing serious public inconvenience; or
- In reckless disregard of the risk of causing the terror, evacuation, or inconvenience. O.C.G.A. §16-11-37.
If a person is found guilty and convicted of terroristic threats, the offense is typically considered a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors carry the consequences of up to one year in jail or up to $1,000 in fines, or both. However, as in the case above, if the threat suggested the death of the threatened individual, the person convicted will be guilty of a felony and will be punished by a fine not to exceed $1,000, a prison term between one and five years, or both.
Crimes such as terroristic threats or terroristic acts in Georgia are not offenses to be taken lightly. Most people fall victim to the belief that if they plead their side of the case that they will not be found guilty. Even though the basis of our criminal justice system is “innocence until proven guilty,” the law is extremely complicated.
Therefore, if you or a loved one has been arrested, contact an Atlanta Criminal Attorney today.