27-year-old Michael Paul Adams is the white man who stabbed 17-year-old Elijah Al-Min for listening to rap music.
Elijah stopped by a Circle K in Peoria, Arizona on July 4th when he was standing at a soda machine when Adams stabbed him in the back and slit his throat. The young man then ran out of the store and collapsed near some gas tanks.
Mr.Adams told police he attacked him because he was listening to rap music and he believes people who play rap music are a threat to him and his community. He claims he was being proactive, not reactive, as that specific genre if music makes him feel "unsafe" after being attacked by people who listened to rap music in the past.
Elijah had just finished working a shift at Subway at 11:30pm then visited his girlfriend before heading to the Circle K around 1:42 a.m.
"Arizona has chosen to keep it simple and straightforward for prosecutors to be able to convict someone of having committed a crime and then are able to use evidence of bias to increase the penalty."
"What makes this offense so tragic is we had a 17-year-old who did absolutely nothing. As a father myself of a 16-year-old, I can't imagine what this young man's family is going through and it is a significant loss to our community. " said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said
Adams was released from prison just two days before after serving a 13-month sentence for aggravated assault. His lawyer, Jacie Cotterell, says Adams had been homeless upon his release and did not have access to the mental health resources he needed and say that he was set up for failure.
"To be specific, he was given resources, he wasn't given means to get those resources. He's been released into the world and left to fend for himself and two days later, this is where we are." Jacie Cotterell said