Man describes hoax video as an attempt at social commentary - New York News

Man describes hoax video as an attempt at humor, social commentary

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PHOENIX -

He is on trial for making a fake terrorist video prosecutors call a criminal hoax and endangering his 16-year-old nephew in the process.

On Thursday, Michael David Turley took the witness stand in his own defense and described his ill-fated video as a misguided attempt at humor and social commentary.

Turley said he made the video for friends and family and was stunned it became a YouTube sensation.

In retrospect, Turley's attorney asked, Did you think making the video was stupid?  Turley said yes, but not a crime.

Turley said it all began with a video game he was playing at home with his nephew.

"We were playing Call of Duty. I have movie props all over my home. He saw a rocket-propelled-grenade movie prop next to the couch, grabbed it. He took a bed sheet, wrapped himself in it like toga-style. He took his t-shirt and wrapped it on his head looked like little ninja guy.  I said hang on, let me take a picture of your with my camera," said Turley.

He said he couldn't remember how the pair wound up outside on the street.

Turley: "I walked toward him and flipped the  camera into video mode."

Defense Attorney: "Were you trying to get the Phoenix police dept to come out to that corner?"

Turley: "No."

Defense Attorney: "At that time did you think your nephew was in danger?"

Turley: "No."

Defense Attorney: "Why  didn't you think he was in danger?"

Turley: "Because he was dressed up in Halloween costume."

Later, Turley said he looked at the video and decided to get creative with it.

"I wanted to tell a story of some sort. I was not sure what kind of story to tell but I knew it needed to be something more than some Saturday Night Live skit."

On cross-examination, prosecutors said Turley produced a video attacking Phoenix police because he has a problem with authority.

Prosecutor: "You don't have a high regard for law enforcement."

Turley: "I  have a high regard for law enforcement."

Prosecutor: "Absolutely and you make that clear in this positive, uplifting video."

The trial continues on Monday.  Turley could get more than five years in prison if the jury finds him guilty.

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