A Pennsylvania teen who police say shot his friend and then posed for a selfie with the teen’s dying body was convicted on Thursday of a less serious charge.
According to the Associated Press, 18-year-old Maxwell Morton was convicted of third-degree murder in the shooting of 16-year-old Ryan Mangan, 16, in February 2015.
Morton testified on Thursday that the two were playing with a handgun and he thought it was unloaded when he pointed it at Mangan and pulled the trigger, the AP reports.
Morton took the selfie to document the accident after he decided to take his own life, the report continues.
“I panicked. I had never seen anything like that before. I had never seen someone die like that. At first I ran out, then ran back in there and saw him lying there,” Morton said, according to Trib Live. “I wanted to tell somebody, but at that time I felt empty and had no regards for life. I had no reason to be. I was going to kill myself.”
Morton’s defense attorney, Pat Thomassey, spoke to WTAE, a local station, saying, “It was a difficult case because of what he did afterwards, in terms of the selfie and all of the other stuff. I give the jury credit. I think they came to a reasonable conclusion based upon all of the evidence they saw.”
A jury rejected the prosecution’s argument that Morton intentionally killed Mangan, according to Trib Live. Morton’s lesser conviction spared him from a life sentence in prison, although he was also found guilty of possession of a weapon, and was returned to the Westmoreland County Prison in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, where he is being held without bond, according to Trib Live.
Morton will be sentenced in three months, and faces up to 40 years in prison, according to the AP.
What is wrong with people?