SAN JOSE (AP) — A Northern California teenager charged in the alleged thrill-killing of a high school classmate told police his religion, Satanism, allowed him to kill and he had already killed a rabbit and a cat, according to a recently released transcript of his interview with investigators.
“I guess I just finally wanted to kill somebody,” Jae Williams told San Jose police detectives two days after the November 2009 slaying of Michael Russell, 15, according to the transcript. “I had my chance and I took it.”
The transcript was reported by the San Jose Mercury News over the weekend. Williams and a second teen, Randy Thompson, were charged with murder in the fatal stabbing of Russell, a sophomore at San Jose’s Santa Teresa High School. They have pleaded not guilty.
Now 20, they will be tried separately as adults, with Williams expected to go on trial first starting at the end of March, the Mercury News reported.
Williams told police he and Thompson began looking for opportunities to kill Russell about six weeks before the attack and had created two alibis, according to the transcript.
They went to Russell’s house on Nov. 10, 2009 and asked him whether he wanted to smoke marijuana. Russell went into a shed to get a lighter, and the teens attacked him when he came out, according to the transcript.
“He was on the floor and he was yelling a little bit,” Williams allegedly told police, “like telling us ... ‘Come on, guys.’ “
Williams said the attack lasted six minutes, and he slit Russell’s throat at the end after finding the boy had no pulse, according to the transcript.
Russell was fatally stabbed with a switchblade and kitchen knife, police have said. His uncle found his body in the backyard that night.
A judge ruled at the end of preliminary hearing in 2010 that there was sufficient evidence to hold both teens over for trial. But continuances have delayed the case.
The defense was given three more months to review evidence in 2012. And Williams’ defense attorney, Lewis O. Romero, recently fought for weeks to exclude the transcript of Williams’ interview with police from the trial, saying his client was held at the police station for 12 hours before being read his rights, according to the Mercury News. The judge ruled against Romero, noting, among other things, that the teen came to the station voluntarily with his mother’s permission.
Judge Arthur Bocanegra split the case because Williams and Thompson incriminated each other in the crime in police interviews, and prosecutors want to use those interviews to convict them, the newspaper reported.