PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A court has ruled that the man accused of stabbing and killing a 17-year-old at a Peoria Circle K last summer is incompetent to stand trial. Last Fourth of July, 17-year-old Elijah Al-Amin went inside the convenience store when police say a man came up behind him and stabbed him in his neck. The teenager died, and officers later arrested Michael Adams, who told police he stabbed Al-Amin because he didn't like the rap music the teen had been listening to in his car. Adams had just gotten out of prison two days earlier.
Now, six months later, the court found Adams mentally incompetent to stand trial. "It's also very important for us to acknowledge that it's likely that what happened here was a failure of the system," said Caroline Isaacs, an advocate for criminal justice reform. She is the program director for American Friends Service Committee of Arizona and says prison doesn't fix mental problems. Other people say Adams never should have been released from prison in the first place. "Would keeping this guy in prison for five years, 10 years more, would that have made things better?" Isaacs asked, "Would the outcome have been any different? And if the answer, which I think any reasonable person would say is no, we need to do better!"
The court ordered Adams to undergo mental health treatment over the next 15 months before they reevaluate his competency. He'll stay in prison in the meantime. It's still possible he might eventually stand trial.