A suspect has been arrested in the brutal murder of Haruka Weiser on the University of Texas campus. A 17-year-old homeless male, Meechaiel Khalil Criner, is now in police custody, thanks to the city’s firefighters.
KVUE reports that the fire department had been called about a backpack on fire in a trashcan. When firefighters arrived and investigated, they realized the description of the fire suspect matched the description of the murder suspect.
According to this article published about Criner in December 2015, he lived with his grandmother as a child. However, Criner claims he was taken away from his grandmother by CPS when he was fifth grade. “They thought violence was involved, and they took me away. She would never beat us,” Criner said.
Criner told the publication that foster care was where the violence happened. He said he was locked in the bathroom by one foster parent, and thrown to the ground by another. In the article, Criner explains he was bullied for most of his life but liked to “help others.”
“Every day I feel people think I’m not capable of much,” he said. “What I want to leave behind is my name–I want them to know who Meechaiel Criner is.”
Unfortunately now we do for all the wrong reasons.
Criner was arrested at an Austin youth outreach charity and charged with first-degree felony murder. The teen is currently in Travis County Jail.