MORGANTON, N.C. (WBTV) – Justin Sullivan, 20, pleaded guilty one count of attempted terrorism in federal court Tuesday morning.
Sullivan is accused of plotting a mass killing in support of the Islamic State. His plea deal was scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday in Asheville.
Sullivan still faces capital murder charges in Burke County related to the 2014 shooting death of John Bailey Clark, 74, who lived near Sullivan and his parents.
Federal documents say Sullivan spoke online with an undercover FBI agent about killing up to 1,000 people in support of the Islamic State, a terrorist group commonly known as ISIS or ISIL, the Charlotte Observer reports.
The FBI says Sullivan shot and robbed Clark to get money to help him buy an assault rifle he planned to use to commit the mass murder.
“Our attack needs to be as big as possible,” he told the undercover FBI agent, according to court documents obtained by the Observer. “We can do minor assassinations before the big attack for training.”
He was arrested in June 2015, shortly before the FBI says Sullivan planned to buy an assault weapon at a Hickory gun show.
Sentencing is scheduled for a later date, but Sullivan faces between 360 months to life in prison.