Teen Shot Classmate, Took Selfie With Body: Police

Maxwell Morton reportedly confesses to cold-blooded murder
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2015 5:00 PM CST
Teen Shot Classmate, Took Selfie With Body: Police

A Pennsylvania teenager is behind bars after allegedly shooting a classmate in the head and taking an incriminating selfie of himself with the body, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. According to court papers, 16-year-old Maxwell Morton sent the image to a friend via SnapChat, an app that deletes messages after a few seconds—but that friend saved the photo right away. And "the photo had the name 'Maxwell' across the top," says a police affidavit. Morton is also accused of sending text messages about the 16-year-old victim, Ryan Mangan, that read, "Told you I cleaned up the shells" and "Ryan was not the last one." Morton reportedly confessed to the killing after police found a 9mm pistol tucked away under his basement stairs in Jeannette, Pa.

But his motive isn't clear, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes. "His name's never out there for being bad. I'm shocked," says a mom whose son was best friends with Morton; she suspects an accidental shooting. Her son tells CBS Pittsburgh that it "definitely makes it harder, not being able to know what really happened. Not being able to ask him and not being able to talk to him." A professor in California puts the selfie down to "criminal pathology rather than technology," saying criminals like "validating their power and self of self-importance" by bragging about their deeds. Morton was arraigned Friday on murder and other charges as an adult, and held without bail, Fox News reports. (More shooting stories.)

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