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Pennsylvania teen accused of killing friend and posting selfie with dying victim on Snapchat convicted of third-degree murder

February 18, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Pennsylvania teen accused of killing friend and posting selfie with dying victim on Snapchat convicted of third-degree murder Maxwell Morton (r.) was convicted of fatally shooting Ryan Mangan (l.) in 2015.

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A Pennsylvania teen, who is accused of murdering his friend and posing for a selfie with the victim, was found guilty on the diminished charge of third-degree murder.

A jury in Westmoreland County dismissed prosecutors’ claims that Maxwell Morton, 16 at the time, purposely killed 16-year-old Ryan Mangan in February 2015.

Morton testified on Thursday that the teens were messing around with a handgun in Mangan’s home when he pointed it at his friend and pulled the trigger, thinking that the firearm was not loaded.

The defendant stated that he and his friend were pretending to be rappers when he saw a lump in a pillowcase, WTAE reported. It was Mangan who brandished the gun.

Maxwell Morton was convicted of third-degree murder on Thursday. (WTAE)

If Morton had quickly called for help after the incident, Mangan might have lived, forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht said in court

In the picture, Morton is seen smiling next to the victim. He sent the picture to someone in another state over Snapchat.

Morton says he took the photo to record what happened before he had planned to commit suicide. He asserted that people think that he’s a monster, but that he’s a “chill kind of guy.”

“It was a difficult case because of what he did afterward, in terms of the selfie,” Morton’s attorney Pat Thomassey told WTAE. “I give the jury credit. They came to a reasonable conclusion based upon all of the evidence they saw.”

Morton avoided a first-degree murder charge, which carried a life sentence. Third-degree murder carries a sentence of 40 years behind bars when he is sentenced in May.

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