Monday, 20 February 2017

Teen’s selfie with the dying boy he shot leads to murder conviction

An 18-year-old Pennsylvania teen has been convicted of murdering his 16-year-old friend, and the incident came to light because the shooter posted a selfie with the dying boy via Snapchat.

Maxwell Morton

Maxwell Morton (credit: Westmoreland County Jail)

Maxwell Morton faces up to 40 years in prison after being convicted of third-degree murder charges by a Westmoreland County jury last Thursday. Morton testified on his own behalf and said he did not intentionally kill Ryan Mangan in February 2015. Instead, Morton said, the boys were playing with what he thought was an unloaded handgun that he pointed at Mangan and fired.

During the four-day trial, Morton testified that he took the selfie to memorialize what happened to his "best friend." "Something in my head told me to take a picture of what happened," said Morton, who was 16 at the time of the murder. The selfie, taken with a mobile phone, shows Morton smiling in front of Mangan's body slumped in a chair. Defense attorneys unsuccessfully tried to exclude the picture from trial, but jurors were eventually shown the image. They spent six hours deliberating, and ultimately the jury did not believe the first-degree-murder allegations that the defendant had intentionally shot Mangan in the face.

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