New charges in Family Research Council shooting

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Story highlights

  • New charges include attempted murder, and a terror count not prosecuted in any case
  • Floyd Lee Corkins II previously pleaded not guilty to other charges in August shooting
  • Building manager overseeing security was wounded in shooting at policy group's offices

The suspect in a shooting at a conservative Christian policy group in Washington faced attempted murder and other new charges on Wednesday, including a terrorism count not previously sought by prosecutors in any case.

Floyd Lee Corkins II, who previously pleaded not guilty to other charges related to the August shooting that wounded the building manager at the Family Research Council, is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday on the new allegations included in a superseding indictment.

They include attempted murder, aggravated assault, second-degree burglary -- all while armed -- and three counts of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence.

Corkins also was charged with committing an act of terrorism while armed, which had never previously been prosecuted.

The law came into existence with passage of the District of Columbia's Anti-Terrorism Act of 2002. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the law's definition of terrorism includes acts done with the intent to "intimidate or coerce a significant portion of the civilian population" of the city or the nation.

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Conviction on that charge alone carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.

The public defender representing Corkins had no immediate comment.

Corkins previously entered a not guilty plea to the federal offense of interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition along with two other local charges.

An affidavit filed earlier in the case said Corkins entered the Family Research Council headquarters on August 15, encountered a security guard and said words to the effect of, "I don't like your politics."

Corkins allegedly pulled a handgun from his backpack and fired at Leo Johnson, the building manager who was handling security at the entrance.

According to the document, security camera video captured the shooting and also showed Johnson tackling his assailant and disarming him. Johnson was shot in the arm but no one else was injured.

The Family Research Council is a Christian group that focuses on family, anti-abortion and religious liberty issues. It views homosexuality as harmful.

At the time of the shooting Corkins, 28, was living with his parents in Virginia and spent time as a volunteer at a Washington center for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

According to the court filing, Corkins' parents told investigators after the shooting that their son "has strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner."