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Corkins pleads guilty in Family Research Council shooting

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
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WASHINGTON — A Virginia man pleaded guilty Wednesday to wounding a security guard at the Washington headquarters of a conservative Christian lobbying group, a shooting that made headlines in part because the man was carrying 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches.

Floyd Corkins II, 28, acknowledged in a plea agreement that he intended to kill as many people as possible during the August shooting at the Family Research Council. He also planned to target other organizations that oppose gay marriage if he wasn’t stopped.

Floyd L. Corkins II (Booking photo)

Corkins intended to smear the sandwiches in the faces of his victims to make a statement about gay rights opponents, he acknowledged during a hearing Wednesday. Chick-fil-A was making headlines at the time because of its president’s stated opposition to gay marriage.

According to the plea agreement, he told FBI agents who interviewed him after the shooting that he wanted to use the sandwiches to “make a statement against the people who work in that building … and with their stance against gay rights and Chick-fil-A.”

Prosecutors said Corkins was allowed to enter the downtown headquarters of the Family Research Council on Aug. 15 after he said he was interviewing for an internship. After approaching a security guard and being asked for identification, he took a pistol from a backpack he was carrying. He fired three shots, and one of them struck the security guard in the arm. But the guard, Leonardo Johnson, managed to wrestle away the gun.

Corkins pleaded guilty to three charges: interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition, assault with intent to kill while armed and act of terrorism while armed. Sentencing guidelines recommend a maximum of 10 years on the first count and up to 15 years on the two other counts.

The judge in the case, Richard W. Roberts, set sentencing for April 29.

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