PHOENIX – An Arizona prosecutor says a grand jury has returned an indictment charging a white man with first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of a black youth for playing rap music he said he thought was threatening.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said Thursday that Michael Adams faces charges in the July 4 killing of 17-year-old Elijah Al-Amin at a convenience store in suburban Phoenix.
He did not directly address claims by Adams’ attorney that his client is mentally ill. He also didn’t comment about how Adams’ release from prison on a previous assault conviction was handled. The release occurred two days before the convenience store stabbing.
He sought to clarify that Arizona does not have a statute on hate crime, but noted stiffer penalties can be imposed at sentencing.