GREENSBURG, Pa. — A Jeannette man who took a photo of himself on Snapchat with the body of a friend he had just shot in the face will go to prison for 15 to 30 years.
A Westmoreland County judge sentenced Maxwell Morton on Monday, two months after finding him guilty of third-degree murder in the slaying of Ryan Mangan, 16, on Feb. 4, 2015.
Morton sent the picture through Xbox to a friend in Wisconsin, who told his mother and called authorities.
Morton faced a maximum of 40 years in prison.
Morton told the jury in February that he pointed the gun, pulled the trigger and thought it would just click, but instead he shot Mangan in the face in his Jeannette home.
Dr. Cyril Wecht testified Wednesday that Mangan could have survived after being shot if he received medical care. Authorities said Morton posed for the photo, then fled without seeking help.
Jurors viewed a photograph that authorities said Morton took with Ryan's body after the shooting. When prosecutors asked why Morton was smiling in the Snapchat photo, Morton said he didn't know why. He said it was "psychological" and he "was nervous."
"(I) thought no one would believe me because I'm not that type of person," Morton said.
Morton’s attorney believed the selfie played a large factor in the judge’s sentencing.
The judge said if that picture was never taken, the case would have been much different.
During the sentencing, Morton told the judge he did not want people to think he is a monster, and knows what he did was “messed up.”
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