In the 21st Century, increasing numbers of crimes are committed and recorded on social media. In Houston, a woman who admitted to firing a gun from a moving vehicle and recording it on Snapchat was imprisoned for five years.
The heavy sentence was handed down even though nobody was hurt in the stunt, reported ABC13. The TV news station reported Sierra Tarbutton was riding in a car with Michael “Money Mike” Cuellar. They were arrested for firing guns as they rode down Memorial Drive in September 2017.
Prosecutors alleged she then posted the incident on the social media site Snapchat.
Tarbutton was sentenced to five years in prison for her role in the stunt in December 2017.
The incident illustrates how social media can amplify a crime as well as incriminate the participants. ABC 13 spoke to Tarbutton two months before she was sentenced. She told the station she shot a gun in the air. She made light of it and said the incident was just something to put on social media.
Tarbutton’s mother told the station the incident was a serious misunderstanding. She said her daughter had no intention to hurt anyone which was why she was shooting into the air.
The defendant entered a guilty plea to charges of deadly conduct and criminal mischief. ABC news stated she admitted two charges when she was out on bond for previously, namely harassment of a public servant and retaliation.
Crimes on social media are becoming increasingly common. In 2017, four teens from Chicago were charged with hate crimes for allegedly attacking a man with cognitive disabilities and streaming it on Facebook Live.
Social media is also used as a means of intimidation for cyberbullying, a crime that recently led to new legislation in Texas.
In April 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio, 37-year-old Steve Stephens killed a random victim, recorded a video and posted it on Facebook.
When crimes are shared on social media, the defense of a perpetrator is undermined. You should never share details of this nature on social media, nor share any details of an ongoing criminal case.
If you or a family member has been charged with an offense in Fort Worth, please call The Medlin Law Firm today about your case.