COMMENTARY | As I was enjoying my breakfast this morning, I skimmed through the daily news before checking my e-mails. Reading the recent events on HuffingtonPost.com had become a ritual for me. The first featured crime post suddenly left a bad taste in my mouth. I read the chilling story of a distressed teen murdering his sister in Russellville, Ark. As of June 6, Colton Harvey, 15, was sentenced to 30 years for second-degree murder and 15 years for using a weapon. The story brought me to tears. It was stories like this that discouraged me from reading the news once before.
The disturbed teen was grounded by his parents for the use of smokeless tobacco days before the morning in January when he used his father’s .22-caliber rifle to shoot his sister, Candace, 16, twice. As I read the first paragraph of the article, I felt like I was reading the script from the American horror film, “Halloween,” when Michael Myers murdered his sister Judith. I could barely finish reading.
Harvey then left the scene. He drove a few miles before he turned himself into the sheriff’s department and admitted to his crime. He exchanged words with police investigator Corey Mendenhall but never once gave a clear motive for what spurred his actions. The article on Huffingtonpost.com by the Associated Press reporter Jeannie Nuss reported Harvey told Mendenhall he deserved the same fate. His words showed that he understood the consequences of his heinous actions and in some way demonstrated that he was seeking repentance. He not only regretted his actions, but he was also hurt by his actions as well.
The question of Harvey’s mental health stayed in my mind. Authorities conducted a screening of his mental health, which showed him to have no signs of mental illness that would have caused him to commit the crime. It still made me wonder how sane Harvey was during that morning in January. It seemed that he was without a reason and to be of conscious mind, but it was hard to justify his frame of mind because the news article didn’t mention if he was under the influence of drugs or suffering from any mental conditions. It was startling to think that Harvey’s motive behind the killing was to get back at his parents for grounding him. The police investigator weighed in on the fact that Harvey enjoyed shooting deer, which brought forth the conclusion that what if he shot deer to relieve frustration and due to temporary insanity, he shot his sister to relieve his anger and as a technique to punish his parents. My heart went out to the Harvey family as soon as I read the article. Nothing could hurt more than the loss of your love ones. Best wishes to the Harvey family.