Meechaiel Criner grandmother: To what degree did one damaged and mentally challenged runaway’s upbringing lead him to unleash his rage and venom on an innocent woman?
Meechaiel Criner’s grandmother has spoken up about her homeless ‘runaway’ grandson who has since become a national topic of discussion after the youth came to be charged with the brutal murder of UT student Haruka Weiser in Austin, Texas.
Meechaiel Criner’s arrest comes after Austin firefighters responded to reports of a fire in a trashcan when the runaway was observed trying to tamper with evidence Monday.
At the time authorities had no knowledge that the actions of the runaway were related to him the evening before murdering the double dance major until on Thursday when released CCTV video of Criner riding a pink/red bicycle made the rounds, leading to a tip off from youth home, LifeWorks that Criner was placed in after Monday afternoon’s fire.
Authorities have also told that surveillance video showed the suspect, believed to be Criner, taking out a sharp metal object and following his victim towards a bridge, near where Haruka Weiser’s body was found Tuesday morning by fellow alumni after smelling a ‘pungent’ smell.
Responding to the charges against her grandson, Meechaiel Criner grandmother’s from her home in Texerkana told Keye-TV : ‘He would get along until you made him mad and then he snapped. His temper…he snapped real fast.’
While Criner’s aunt said: ‘He’s a very intelligent young man but he has some mental problems.’
Criner had been living with his grandmother in Texerkana since last August and she says she was ‘shocked’ to hear of the news of her grandson’s arrest as she had been looking for him.
‘I thought you were going to say to tell me that somebody had killed him,‘ she said.
And her sister added: ‘Whatever has happened is very shocking. It’s hard for me to believe that he did somehting like this, if he did it.’
Both insist Criner is respectful and intelligent but conceded that the damaged youth who’s being rejected by his grandmother and had grown up in and around foster homes having ‘issues.’
Nevertheless, the youth’s sister said she intends to now stand by her brother and is sure that Meechaiel ‘didn’t do it.’
Criner’s older sister – who wished to remain anonymous – told ABC13 that while Criner is mentally ill, he is not ‘crazy enough’ to have committed murder. The elder sister told of not having made contact with her younger brother since he has been in custody.
Which warrants the question, to what degree was the suspect ever on speaking terms with family members and what led to the youth trouncing around from one foster home to another and to what degree did that augment a sense of hostility and betrayal and contempt for his victim who presumably in the suspect’s eye had it all?
Reflected the older sister: ‘He’s slow on a lot of things. It takes him longer to pick up than the average person, but he’s not slow enough to say I’m going to kill this person and take her purse and carry it with me.’
Adding: ‘No one is that slow. Meechaiel is not that slow. Meechaiel is not that crazy to do that.’
In the interview at her Texas home, the sister explained how their mother was a drug addict who committed suicide, meaning they bounced between their grandmother’s care and Child Protection Services (CPS).
She said it was not a ‘hidden fact’ that he had mental issues, while now maintaining she wants to know why CPS ‘let a 17-year-old mentally-issued child out of their care for so long’.
Of note, during a high schoolnewspaper interview the suspect did with the tigerproject just before Christmas the youth told of his aspirations whilst also conceding of the violence he had been subjected to staying with foster homes. How or why such knowledge wasn’t conveyed (unless it was?) to the suspect’s family is not necessarily understood. That said, one wonders if the lack of family disconnect and the degree of upheaval the youth incurred led to his destabilization?
In an interview with NBC News Friday, Texas Child Protective Services told that Criner was under their care but had just run away.
Why the youth ran away wasn’t conveyed by the agency.
The agency went on to convey it did not know where the missing youth was until after police brought him to the homeless shelter.
Criner’s sister now believes that her brother was an ‘easy police target’ and is planning to stand by him.
She added that while she was ‘greatly, deeply sorry this happened’ she is sure ‘Meechaiel Criner did not do this.’
At present the youth remains behind bars and has since been charged with the first degree murder of Haruka Weiser, as fellow students and a community wonder what led to one mentally challenged and broken young man inflicting his rage and venom on one unsuspecting 18 year old girl who had everything to live for, even if her assailant had nothing to live for….