PHOENIX -- The filmmaker accused of staging a terrorist hoax in Phoenix pleaded not guilty in court on Thursday.
Police arrested Michael D. Turley in September after he allegedly dressed his teenage relative in a sheet, armed him with a fake rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and sent him to create a terrorist hoax to prompt police response.
It happened at the intersection of 33rd Avenue and Bell Road on July 28.
, Turley references both the movie theater massacre in Colorado and Columbine and says that in light of those events, he wanted to test the response time of Phoenix police.
Turley claims the police took nearly 15 minutes to respond, but police dispute that.
According to Turley’s Facebook page, he founded the Phoenix production company Summitstar Films and Entertainment.
His Facebook page also says that Turley also works as a hypnotist and magician under the name Gianni the unknown hypnotist.
Turley faces a number of charges including knowingly giving a false impression of a terrorist act. His teenage relative was also arrested and is awaiting charges.
He is due back in court in December.