The Trench Reynolds Report

All Crime Is Personal

Neighbor accused

Judge orders youth held in girl’s murder:

14-year-old Marlee Johnson from Maine was murdered last weekend. One Patrick Armstrong, also 14, is being held in her murder. The cause of death and motive for the killing have not been released yet. It has also not been decided on whether or not to try him as an adult. Why my interest in this particular case you ask. I’ll show you…

Hours after the killing, police were looking into a personal Web site believed to be Armstrong’s, a source close to the investigation said.

The name, birthdate and other personal details match Armstrong exactly, though authorities have not confirmed that Armstrong is the author of the content. Pages downloaded from the site were circulating among Kents Hill School students early this week.

The site could be interpreted as the ramblings of a troubled individual, or someone who enjoyed sharing very dark humor with friends given access to the site.

“I hate this society and I hate most people within it,” the site reads. In a list of general interests, the site mentions skateboarding, hanging out with friends, serial killers and Columbine High School, among others. A list of heroes mentions Eric Harris, one of the gunmen in the 1999 Columbine shootings in Colorado.

And from the second article…

McKee said that Armstrong, who has been home-schooled his entire life, has no criminal history. But he said he was aware that police are examining a personal Internet Web site that includes some troubling references. The site is believed to be Armstrong’s and, according to sources, became part of the investigation shortly after the killing.

On the private site, which was accessible to a small circle of friends, the author identified himself as “offensive” and hostile. Visitors who have posted comments on the site include someone claiming to be Armstrong’s sister.

The site lists people the author “hates,” including “moronic jocks,” “bullies,” “old people,” and “little kids.”

“I am very interested in serial killers and school shootings and I find it hilarious that this fact bothers people,” the author wrote. “I laugh at people, including myself, who get hurt, so if you ever see me lying on the ground next to my skateboard laughing, I’m probably also bleeding.”

The site believed to be Armstrong’s lists Eric Harris, one of the Columbine shooters, as a hero.

The kid is a mutant plain and simple. Another Harris and Klebold worshipper that decided to follow in their cowardly footsteps.

As usual, we have a very funny defense attorney…

Armstrong’s attorney, Walter McKee, said he will argue for his client to be released to his parents’ custody while the case moves through the court system.

“He should be released to his mom,” McKee said. “He’s 14 years old, he’s never spent more than two nights away from home. He’s been there ever since he was a baby.

“I know that’s difficult for everybody because it’s a small community, but it’s really appropriate with a boy that age,” McKee said.

Which part about “He killed a girl” doesn’t he get? Killers don’t get to go home to mommy.

More yuks from Mr. McKee…

McKee made clear that his first job would be to keep Armstrong in the juvenile system. He said an adult punishment would be wrong for such a young person.

“I think it’s scary,” McKee said. “It’s virtually unprecedented in the state of Maine. This means somebody 15 years old sitting in a corner of the Maine State Prison in Warren, and that’s just unheard of.”

If an adult punishment is so wrong for a young person how do you think he feels about a 14-year-old girl who received an unsolicited death penalty? No trial, no appeal, no last meal, just death. And I’m supposed to feel sorry for a murderer that sits in state prison? I don’t think so. I don’t care about his age. He was old enough to allegedly make the decision to kill Marlee Johnston then he’s old enough to spend the rest of his life in jail.

And once again this should serve as a warning to parents about their kid’s internet activities. Don’t believe me? How about this guy?…

Today’s teenagers use the Internet to record their deepest feelings the way people once used private journals, said Dr. Andy Hinkins, the residency training director in child and adolescent psychiatry at Maine Medical Center and Spring Harbor Hospital.

Whether the medium is the Web or a diary, the writer may hope that someone will find the document and do something about it, he said.

“They can provide a psychological profile of the child,” Hinkins said. “It behooves us to be vigilant and take them seriously. It is not a normal part of adolescence to be writing such dark things.”

Hinkins said he knows of no study that looked at what percentage of teenagers act out violent fantasies in their writing. But after the Columbine school shootings, in which the killers left disturbing letters and journals, families should not ignore them, he said.

“I would certainly talk to the child about it,” he said. “And it would be helpful to have a mental health professional work with the family.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

My prayers and condolences go out to the friends and family of Marlee Johnson.

A huge nod to The Cellar.

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