PEORIA, Ariz. (FOX 10) - New details have been revealed in a case that's been making news across the country. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery announced that his office is looking into whether this case is eligible for the death penalty.
17-year-old Elijah Al-Amin did nothing wrong - he didn't even interact with his alleged killer before he was attacked from behind. Adams is accused of stabbing 17-year-old Al-Amin in the neck at a Circle K in Peoria during the early morning of the Fourth of July. Officers found Adams near the gas station with a pocket knife and blood on his body. According to investigators, the 26-year-old attacked the teen because he felt threatened by rap music Al-Amin was playing in his car.
The arrest of Michael Adams in connection to the death of Al-Amin sparked outrage across the nation. Even a social media hashtag came about, #JusticeForElijah. Montgomery became emotional as he spoke about the case.
"I cannot fathom trying to make sense, for Elijah's family, of just going to a convenience store and that's it, your child is gone," said Montgomery.
The stabbing also took place just two days after Adams was released from prison. He had served a 13-month sentence for aggravated assault. Adams' lawyer said that her client suffers from mental illness. Many people are calling the attack a hate crime. Arizona does not have a hate crime statute.
Adams has a history of aggravated assault. Court records reveal the threatened to throw a large brick at someone who told him to get off the sidewalk - and he attacked a correctional officer while in jail.
MCSO says every inmate goes through a screening process that includes a medical evaluation and it was determined Adams be housed in jail, not sent to a hospital. Adams is in restrictive housing, meaning he's being kept away from the general population.