An Indiana teen who likened strangling his little brother to satisfying a craving for a hamburger pleaded guilty today to murder charges.
Anthony Conley, now 18, admitted to authorities late last year that he was inspired by the television series about a serial killer, "Dexter," after he turned himself into authorities.
Today in a Rising Sun, Ohio, court, Conley pleaded guilty just as jury selection was set to begin, according to The Associated Press.
Defense attorneys had been expected to argue Conley was insane at the time, according to the report.
Because Conley was still a minor when he killed his brother he was not eligible for the death penalty, but he could be sentenced to 65 years in prison.
Messages left for Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard and for Gary Sorge, Conley's attorney, were not immediately returned.
Negangard told ABC News at the time of Conley's arrest that the teen said he stuffed his 10-year-old brother Conner into a plastic bag so that blood "wouldn't get everywhere."
"It's disturbing that a 17-year-old would want to kill under any circumstances, let alone his own brother," said Negangard. He described Conley as "emotionless" when he was interviewed by police.
According to Negangard, Conley turned himself into authorities the day after he murdered his brother. But the night before, Conley said he stopped at his girlfriend's home to give her a "sweetheart ring." The couple also watched the movie "The Green Mile," which focuses on the lives of prison guards on death row.
"His girlfriend described him as the happiest he had been in a long while," said Negangard.
Teens Alleges He Was Inspired by TV Serial Killer Dexter Morgan
Negangard said that when Conley was asked to explain his behavior by investigators the teen said he identified with Dexter Morgan, the main character in Showtime's "Dexter," which chronicles the life of an undercover Miami blood spatter expert who doubles as a serial killer.
"Conley said that he just 'felt like him,'" said Negangard.
Reached for comment, a Showtime spokesperson had no comment.
This is the second murder that was allegedly inspired by "Dexter." In 2008, a 29-year-old Canadian man Mark Twitchell mimicked a story line from the drama when he allegedly killed 39-year-old Johnny Altinger. Twitchell was dubbed a "fervid fan" of the show in news reports.
Melissa Rosenberg, the show's executive producer, told Canwest News Service at the time that this was a "worst fears" situation, and one that the show's creators "worried about from the beginning."
In interviews with investigators, Conley also allegedly likened his desire to kill to a craving a person gets when they want a particular food.
"He analogized the murder to when someone wants a hamburger," said Negangard. "He said that when someone wants a hamburger they've just got to have it."
Conley admitted to strangling his brother on a Saturday night when their parents were both at work. Stuffing his brother's dead body in the back of his car, he then drove to his girlfriend's house where he spent the night.
Sometime the next day, authorities said Conley dumped his brother's body in a park just a few hundred yards from where the 10-year-old attended elementary school.
The next morning Conley was asked by his parents – both of whom Negangard said work night shifts – where his little brother was. Conley told his parents that his little brother was at his grandmother's home, which was apparently not unusual.
But when asked to pick up his brother a few hours later, Conley drove to the police station and turned himself in.
"The defendant walked into the police station and indicated that he had killed his brother," Negangard said. Later, Conley told authorities that he had been having trouble sleeping, the prosecutor said.