Teens Who Allegedly Filmed Fatal Attack Are Charged With Murder

Three Chicago teens are charged with first-degree murder.

July 16, 2012, 1:31 PM

July 16, 2012 — -- Two Chicago teenagers have been charged with first degree murder for allegedly filming the fatal beating of a 62-year-old father of 12, in what is the latest incident of teens taping and sharing violent crimes online.

Delfino Mora's family said that he was collecting cans in an alley on the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago on July 10 when prosecutors say he was attacked by Malik Jones, 16, Nicholas Ayala, 17, and Anthony Malcolm, 18.

Ayala and Malcolm were denied bail today. Jones had previously been denied bail.

Mora was found unconscious but breathing just before 8 a.m. by a passerby, but he died seven hours later as a result of blunt head trauma endured during the attack, police said.

"I think they are heartless," the victim's son Jose Mora said to ABC News Chicago affiliate WLS. "Why they would do this to a guy, older guy, 62? You know, I don't know. It is so painful."

All three suspects have now been charged with first-degree murder and were scheduled to appear in court today. Jones, who is being tried as an adult, is the one prosecutors say delivered the lethal punch to Mora which caused Mora to hit his head on the concrete.

According to investigators, Jones gave his cell phone to the two other alleged attackers, who took turns filming the assault.

The clip of the beating was later posted to Jones' Facebook page, police said. A witness was able to pass a link to the video along to another man who had reportedly been attacked by Jones in a separate incident. The police were soon notified of the filmed attack.

The filming and posting of the attack on Mora is the latest incident of what has become known as "happy slapping," filmed assaults that are then posted to Facebook or YouTube as a means of bragging or gaining online notoriety.

Though this filmed mischief and anti-social behavior has been popular among teens for years, lately it has become increasingly violent.

Last November a video surfaced online of a Chicago teen who sucker-punched a homeless man in a subway station while his friends filmed it and laughed, and later posted the clip online. The teenager was charged with aggravated battery.

In December, a 20-year-old New Jersey man was arrested after a friend filmed him attacking a homeless man in a wooded area in Wall Township.

In the United Kingdom and other European countries, the trend has gone on to include filming increasingly violent crimes. According to The London Times, the "happy-slapping" fad began in south London in 2004, and since it has escalated to include filmed rape and even a case of manslaughter.

'Happy Slapping' Videos Become More Violent

Nadine Kaslow, vice chair and chief psychiatrist at Emory University, told ABC News that she believes there a number of reasons for the increase in these sorts of filmed crimes, including the easy access to technology, the copycat phenomenon, and the lack of etiquette to what you do and don't post to social media.

"I think that people are thinking about the bravado and not the consequences ? It demonstrates a lack of conscience," Kaslow said, adding that the ease of uploading and viewing these crimes leads them to spread.

"It's one thing to hear if a kid did it, it's another to see it. Social media puts it more in our face. We can click on YouTube, and then try to top it. It's not like we have to go somewhere to find this out. It's right in our pocket," she said.

Relatives of Delfino Mora, who told WLS he spent his entire life trying to help his family move to the U.S. from Mexico, are now trying to plan funeral services and return his body to Mexico.

Kaslow says that his 12 children may have a long road to recovery ahead of them.

"To watch your father being killed by a bunch of kids online -- the nightmares, the trauma," she said. "In this case, all his children are victims too."

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events