Cops: Teen Kills Man for Phone, Is Upset With Model
Seattle student Byron White charged with first-degree murder as an adult
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2014 3:25 PM CST
Stock photo   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – It was a crime both "tragic and senseless," say prosecutors. David Peterson, 54, was out for a walk in his Seattle neighborhood on Feb. 23 when police say high school student Byron White tried to steal his cellphone, the Seattle Times reports. Peterson fought off the teen and called police, but informed the 911 operator that his assailant had doubled back, apparently after hearing Peterson place the call, per an affidavit. That's when White, 17, allegedly shot Peterson in the chest; police arrived minutes later to find Peterson dead in a pet shop parking lot, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. The teen later told friends "the man had seen his face, and he had to shoot him," a detective alleges.

"That the evidence shows he was murdered for his cellphone by a teenager with a gun makes this all the more tragic and senseless," says a King County prosecutor. It gets worse: The detective says White "showed his companions the phone he had finally taken from the man and expressed his disappointment that it was not a nicer model." White, who police say confessed to the crime, was nabbed trying to board a flight to Atlanta and has been charged with first-degree murder as an adult. (Another tragic phone-related story making news this week: A teen was killed after trying to retrieve her phone from train tracks.)

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Showing 3 of 101 comments
Mar 18, 2014 8:49 PM CDT
Yes he is in a gang and yes he is black, no matter how hard they try to hide it.
Terence Sommer
Mar 15, 2014 3:22 PM CDT
Maybe if Mr. Peterson had a gun and defended himself, HE would be in jail today. It's happening in Wisconsin. A janitor in Milwaukee defended himself against a baseball bat attack where he pulled out his gun and shot the two of the three perps. The perps are black (I don't know the back ground of the victim), and really are a pair of "teens", a boy and girl, set to become upstanding parents as they had kids together (teens under age mind you) if they hadn't made the mistake of assaulting some old guy with baseball bats. Anyway, the perps are treated as victims thanks to some in the neighborhood people holding up placards, balloons, crying and the like, and looking for sympathy for those two little punks. Mr. Peterson would have been called a cold blooded murderer, if he had the done the same, by much of the press. There could have been crowds of hoodies who would have gathered in circles in Seattle at the sight of the crime crying out for justice. Will white people ever tire of this shit?
Haaywood Jablomie
Mar 9, 2014 6:56 PM CDT
This has nothing to do with cell phones, robbery, murder or walking the streets of a large, dangerous American city. It has everything to do with the mass degradation of the culture, where violence and death are routine and accepted, where mugging or killing is fine to get the trivial trinkets (phones, jewelery, gym shoes) your want. The behavior is exhibited in movies, TV, "music," video game, practiced in the street and excused in government schools. Part of the degradation comes from every cultural aberration being seen as equal equal, stupid and criminal is "cool," single parent families, and the government providing handouts that encourage BAD behavior Look at the way people raise their kids, treat animals, and make excuses for deviant behavior. This isn't news, or surprising whatsoever. You should also note that the perp wasn't a sweet little kid that "got in with the wrong crowd." He committed an armed robbery, killed the victim, and was disappointed about the quality of what he stole?? Purge him from the gene pool.