Today in the downfall of humanity: A teen has been arrested for murder after posting a selfie with his victim to Snapchat.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, a Jeannette, Pa., teenager shot a 16-year-old classmate “in the face and took a picture with the body, which police used to charge him with the killing.”
The teen, Maxwell Marion Morton, sent the selfie via Snapchat, and the recipient of the photo saved it before it deleted itself. That boy’s mother contacted authorities, who arrested Morton after he confessed to killing Ryan Mangan, and police found a 9mm handgun hidden under his basement steps. Mangan had been “shot once in the face,” according to authorities.
“I’ve never seen it before,” county district attorney John Peck told the Tribune Review. “But it was a key piece of evidence that led investigators to the defendant.”
“This is really a question about criminal pathology rather than technology,” Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center and a psychology and social media instructor at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, Calif., added to the Tribune Review story. “Perpetrators in need of validating their power and sense of self-importance have used all kinds of communications to ‘brag’ about criminal activities — from the local hangout to social media, like Facebook.”
Morton is being held without bail on charges of first-degree murder, homicide and possession of a firearm by a minor, and is being charged as an adult.