Michael Adams, a 27-year-old from Arizona who had a violent past, murdered 17-year-old Elijah Al-Amin just two days after being released from prison because he allegedly felt “unsafe” and threatened because the teenager was listening to rap music.
Al-Amin was transported to the local hospital before dying from his injuries.
“We are committed to detailed and complete investigations and we will determine why this violent act occurred. On behalf of the men and women of the Peoria Police Department, we extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victim,” Police Chief Art Miller said in a statement.
Adams has been charged with first-degree, premeditated murder and is being held on $1 million bond.
The defense for Adams, however, is claiming that he is mentally ill and that he should have never been released from prison due to his history of assaults on strangers.
“They released him to the streets with no medication, no meds, with no way to care for himself. This is a failing of the Department of Corrections. This is easily foreseeable and that is an issue,” Adams’ attorney Jacie Cotterell said, via Complex.
“It’s too easy as a society to shake our head and say well, they committed a crime, it’s too bad, we have jails for that when really, what they need is treatment. They need a bed instead of a cell.”
Al-Amin’s mother Serina Rides, however, is not buying the excuse.
“There’s no excuse for this,” Rides told the local news station. “There’s not at all, there’s no excuse. I don’t care that somebody’s hiding behind mental illness, there’s no excuse.”
Elijah was just two weeks from his 18th birthday and was preparing for his senior year of high school.