Peoria, AZ – A recently released prison inmate who brutally stabbed a teen to death in an unprovoked attack said he killed the boy because he felt threatened by the teen’s rap music.
Michael Paul Adams, 27, was released from a Yuma prison just two days before the July 4 attack, The Arizona Republic reported.
The fatal altercation occurred began in a Circle K parking lot at approximately 1:42 a.m., when Adams heard 17-year-old Elijah El-Amin playing rap music inside his vehicle, Newsweek reported.
Adams later said that the music made him feel “unsafe,” because he had previously been attacked by people who listen to the same genre of music, according to police.
The convicted felon further declared that people who listen to hip-hop music are a threat to the community as a whole, and that he needed to be “proactive rather than reactive” to ensure his own safety, according to court documents.
Adams said it was the music – not Al-Amin – that made him feel threatened.
Store security cameras showed the teen as he left his vehicle and walked into the store. Adams followed him into the business several seconds later.
The suspect wandered around the store for a moment, then lunged at the unsuspecting victim with a pocket knife.
He stabbed Al-Amin in the back, then slit his throat, according to court documents.
The teen managed to run out of the store, where he collapsed.
Police arrived at the scene and began administering CPR until medical personnel arrived and rushed the victim to a hospital.
Al-Amin died of his injures at 2:05 a.m.
Adams, whose hands and clothing were saturated with blood, was arrested near the Circle K store a short while later.
He is being held on a $1 million bond on suspicion of first-degree premeditated murder, and is due to appear before the court for a preliminary hearing on July 15.
Adams’ attorney, Jacie Cotterell, said that the Arizona Department of Corrections (DOC) was the entity responsible for the teen’s murder, and that Adams had been “set up for failure” when he was released from prison two days prior, The Arizona Republic reported.
Cotterell complained that Adams was left to live “on the street” after his release, and alleged DOC had not done enough to make sure Adams participated in mental health treatment service.
But DOC spokesperson Bill Lamoreaux argued that Adams was provided with a slew of contacts for community resources, including housing, welfare, and continuing care, and that the DOC didn’t have the power to force him to take advantage of those resources.
“He was no longer under the Department’s legal jurisdiction and the Department had no further legal authority over him,” Lamoreaux told The Arizona Republic.
He said that Adams was also “not designated seriously mentally ill” at the time of his release.
Cotterell acknowledged that Adams was “given resources,” but argued that the DOC should have also provided him with the “means to get those resources.”
Adams was previously convicted of a multitude of offenses, including disorderly conduct, theft, assault with a weapon, shoplifting, aggravated assault on a correctional employee, and marijuana possession.