Teen Accused of Taking Selfie With Dead 'Best Friend' Convicted of Murder
Feb 21, 2017 11:19 AM EST
Eighteen-year-old Pennsylvania teen has been convicted of murdering his friend after posting a selfie with the dying boy via Snapchat. The teenager faces up to 40 years in prison for third-degree murder, according to the verdict released by Westmoreland County jury last Thursday.
Maxwell Morton testified the murder on his own behalf and defended himself by saying he did not intentionally kill 16-year-old, Ryan Mangan in Feb. 2015. He said that both Mangan and himself were playing with what he thought was an unloaded handgun, which he later pointed at Mangan and fired.
Morton also revealed during the four-day trial of the murder accusation, that he took a selfie of his "dying best friend' to memorialize what happened to him on that day. "Something in my head told me to take a picture of what happened," he said.
The disturbing selfie shows Morton, who was 16 years old at the time of the murder, smiling in front of Mangan's body slumped in a chair. Jurors were eventually shown the image taken using a mobile phone although defense attorneys initially tried to exclude the picture from trial.
Jurors took six hours of deliberation to convict Maxwell Morton of fatally shooting Ryan Mangen, according to CBS Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht testified that Mangan could have survived if he had gotten "appropriate medical care".
Morton, who implicated himself in the evening of the murder while playing video games online with a Wisconsin teenager, reportedly bragged that he "got his first body", according to WTAE. He said that Morton texted a story about the shooting and sent the selfie via Snapchat when the gamer refused to believe him.
The Wisconsin gamer later took a screenshot of the selfie and told his mother, who informed the authorities about the murder. Morton is expected to be sentenced in May.