Texas Grand Jury Agree GIF Counts As Deadly Weapon
Anthony Cartwright / 2 years ago
The case against John Rayne Rivello has taken another turn after a Texas Grand Jury agree that the seizure-inducing GIF he allegedly sent to Kurt Eichenwald, counts as a deadly weapon. This comes after his seized twitter account revealed it was a premeditated attack.
It is alleged by the FBI, that messages they discovered on his twitter account; which they had traced using his iPhone, revealed he had sent several messages stating his intent to cause Kurt Eichenwald to have a seizure. If the said messages were indeed sent by Rivello, then it is clear that the intent to damage, hurt or kill Kurt Eichenwald was premeditated and intended.
After Rivello had sent the GIF in what is being classed as assault and also potentially anti-semitic; as Rivello is allegedly prejudice towards those of Jewish faith, Kurt Eichenwald did have a seizure. The weapon the recent indictment says was used is;
“a Tweet, a Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) and an Electronic Device and Hands”
It’s important to take note that although it may seem obvious he’d need his hands to send it, wording the description of the weapon in this way is vital to the case. Without it, the defence of Rivello could have argued that the GIF itself is not a weapon. As they have stated hands in the description, that route has now gone.
It is very difficult to start making predictions over the outcome of this case. If Rivello was the person that sent the message, then this may possibly be the first case of it’s kind, and it will be interesting to see how the judgement will go.
As it is being classed as aggravated assault, one could assume the normal sentencing procedure and limits would apply, however, the direct targeting of someone of Jewish faith, whilst allegedly holding anti-semitic views may also add time to any sentence.
Going forward this could have ramifications for us all. This case will indeed determine how issues online are dealt with in the future, and for those who think sending aggressive pictures to someone on social media is harmless, you may want to think again.
Would you count this GIF as a deadly weapon? What sort of precedent do you think this will set?