If there is one principle, one hope, that can console those of us that aren’t the sort of people that beat disabled men to death, it’s that the most inhumane humans are often the dumbest. Three teens, aged 16, 17, and 18, are all facing first-degree murder charges after what seems like a robbery and beating gone wrong, reports the Chicago Tribune.
The crime came to light after one of the three allegedly posted a video of the mugging on Facebook. Their victim was a disabled immigrant grandfather and father of 12 who was collecting cans to support his family.
Nicholas Ayala and Anthony Malcolm were reportedly the cameramen that assisted Malik Jones, the 16-year-old who allegedly threw the punch. According to the Tribune, the trio approached the victim, 62-year-old Delfino Mora, in an alley where he was collecting cans. They asked him what was in his pocket and then, according to prosecutors, Jones punched Mora in the jaw. Mora fell back and hit his head on the concrete. Ayala and Malcolm captured the incident on Jones’ cell phone.
Mora was found two hours later in a pool of his own blood and vomit. He died a few hours later at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston. The cause of death was blunt head trauma in an assault.
Jones’ alleged idiocy, it seems, is what has the entire trio facing first-degree murder charges. Video of the assault was posted to his Facebook page. An acquaintance of Jones shared the video with his friends, one of whom was a coworker of the victim’s son. The victim’s son watched the video of his father being beaten and helped the police solve the case.
Jones was carrying the phone when he was arrested. The video was obtained pursuant to a search warrant. Jones also admitted to detectives that he hit Mora. Between his statements and the video, the chances for a conviction seem strong.
As for the other two, they have been charged with first-degree murder as well. How can they be charged with murder when they were mere cameramen? The answer may lie in the felony murder rule.
The felony murder rule holds that if a killing occurs during the commission of certain major felony crimes, the crew responsible for the felony can all be charged for the death. It often comes into play in convenience store robberies. A few idiots in masks walk into a 7-11. One accidentally shoots the cashier while trying to get the cash. His friends, who were merely “lookouts,” can also be charged with murder.
The theory seems applicable here. It seems probable that Nicholas Ayala and Anthony Malcolm knew that Malik Jones was going to rob Delfino Mora. They used Jones’ cell phone to record the crime. They may have thought that Jones would punch the victim, walk away with his wallet, and split the cash. It’s a simple, routine mugging, recorded for whatever bragging rights come from robbing disabled old men. Instead, they are all facing lengthy prison sentences.
Meanwhile, a father of 12 is headed back to Mexico to be buried near family.
- Consult a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney (FindLaw)
- First Degree Murder Definition (FindLaw’s Learn About the Law)
- When the Music Stops: Rappers Beat Strangers in Wrigleyville (Chicago Criminal Law Blog)
- Robbery Abandoned After Victim Points to Police Station (Chicago Criminal Law Blog)
- 3 charged with beating murder posted on Facebook (FOX Chicago)