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A Seattle teen is facing prison time after he shot and killed a man.
Byron White, 17, is on trial for the February 23 murder of 54-year-old David Peterson, according to King 5 News.
The victim reportedly left his home around 8:30 pm for an after dinner walk, during which he was struck in the head from behind by the violent youth.
White and Peterson fought briefly and Peterson protected himself. Peterson then went to a parking lot where he called 911 to report the attack when he saw White coming back for him.
According to the Seattle PI, the dispatcher was able to hear Peterson tell White that he would not hand over his phone before the line dropped.
When police arrived less than ten minutes later, they found Peterson dead from a gunshot to the chest. White wasn’t anywhere to be found, but a 9mm shell casing was at the scene.
“David Peterson went out for a walk around the neighborhood after dinner and never returned. He was a random victim from a chance encounter with a dangerous young man. That the evidence shows he was murdered for his cellphone by a teenager with a gun makes this all the more tragic and senseless,” King County prosecuting attorney Dan Satterberg said in a statement, according to The New York Daily News.
After committing the crime, White reportedly went to a friend’s house where he bragged he’d killed someone and had to do so because his face had been seen. He also complained about the phone he’d stolen because it wasn’t a "nicer model", police said.
Authorities apprehended White on March 1 at Sea-Tac airport where the teen attempted to catch a flight to Atlanta. He’d been on the run for a week and admitted to the murder immediately.
Before becoming a killer, Byron White was a student Ballard High School and came from a good home, according to his mother who spoke to King 5 News.
"Byron was not homeless. He came from a two parent background. He was a good student and a respectful student. We gave him all that he needed . . . During the last four to five months he took a turn for the worse. He started missing classes and I was worried about it. I tried to steer him in the right direction,” said Yvette Watkins, Byron White’s mother.
During White’s hearing, David Peterson’s wife and brother were present.
"It's our responsibility to see this through. It's a significant tragedy in our life. We're not going to just walk away from it," said Greg Peterson, David Peterson’s brother.
White is charged with murder, unlawful possession of a firearm, and attempted robbery. He’s held in lieu of $2 million bail and is set next to appear in court March 17. He is being tried as an adult and faces 35 years in prison if convicted.