It was also the second successful Justice Department terrorism prosecution in as many days. On Wednesday, Oscar Ortega-Hernandez pleaded guilty to a terrorism charge for firing at least eight bullets at the White House. He faces as many as 27-and-a-half years in prison.
Corkins was indicted last October for the August shooting. The government held that Corkins approached an unarmed security guard at the FRC building and told him that he did not like his politics. Corkins then pulled a 9mm handgun from his backpack, opened fire and struck the arm of the guard, who then wrestled the firearm away from Corkins, according to the DOJ.
After taking Corkins into custody, the FBI said it found a box of 50 bullets in his backpack, along with 15 sandwiches from the Chick-fil-A fast-food chain.
The special agent who detailed his account of the incident in the affidavit filed with the district court made reference to comments that the head of Chick-fil-A had made last year in opposition to gay marriage. The agent connected them with the FRC’s same position on the matter.
The shooting ignited a flurry of accusations lobbed between both sides of the same-sex marriage debate.
In 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) placed the FRC on its list of hate groups for its statements about the gay community.
In the wake of the shooting, the National Organization for Marriage, one of the nation’s leading opponents of same-sex marriage, said the shooting was a direct result of the SPLC’s decision.
The SPLC vehemently denounced the shooting and rejected the use of the violence, but stood by its earlier categorization of the group, which has promoted the idea that a homosexual lifestyle is linked to pedophilia.