A 16-year-old teen from Pennsylvania has been charged with first-degree murder after a selfie showing the teen and his victim surfaced on Snapchat. Maxwell Marion Morton reportedly sent the post-murder selfie to a classmate, who took a screenshot of the vanishing message, and showed it to his mother. The boy’s mother then showed the photo to police.
The gruesome selfie was reportedly taken at the scene of the crime, shortly after Morton killed classmate Ryan Mangan with a gunshot to the face. The photo was accompanied with the lines, “Told you I cleaned up the shells,” and “Ryan was not the last one.” Morton confessed to the murder after the police searched his home and discovered 9mm handgun stashed under the basement steps.
“(Police) received a copy of the photo, which depicted the victim sitting in the chair with a gunshot wound to the face,” states the police affidavit obtained by the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. “It also depicts a black male taking the ‘selfie,’ with his face facing the camera and the victim behind the actor. The photo had the name ‘Maxwell’ across the top.”
County District Attorney John Peck stated that although this was the first time he used a Snapchat selfie as evidence, the screenshot has been key to the murder case. Many other criminals have been caught after they’ve been found bragging on social media or in messages to friends. Often, photographic evidence of crimes helps investigators solve cases, including everything from stolen iPads to unsolved murder cases, in which Siri was consulted for advice on hiding a dead body.